Figurehead of the HMS Resolute

Basic Information

FigID
F0057
InstID
FHD0117
Figurehead type
Figurehead
Title
Figurehead of the HMS Resolute
Vessel name
HMS Resolute
Type (Naval/Merchant)
Naval
Copyright owner
© National Maritime Museum
Copyright notes
Photo: © National Maritime Museum
Current location
Kidbrooke Stores, NMM
Location date
07/02/2013

Physical Information

Description
Figurehead depicting the head of a polar bear from the Arctic exploration vessel HMS 'Resolute'.
Maker
Smith of Newcastle
Date made
1850
Place made
Possibly Newcastle
Size
H66 x W27.9 x D25.4 cms
Materials
wood
Object history
Acquired by the Maritime Museum from Chatham Dockyard, date unknown.
Vessel history
Originally the 'Ptarmigan', when bought by the Navy as a discovery vessel in 1850 she was first renamed 'Refuge' and then 'Resolute'. She was abandoned in Baffin Bay by Sir Edward Belcher's Franklin Search Expedition in September 1855 but was later salvaged by an American whaler from New Bedford, arriving home in December 1856 after being returned by the US Government. After being laid up at Chatham she was broken up there in 1879. Interestingly, after being broken up, several articles of furniture were made from her timbers - one of which was presented to the President of the United States by the British Government in recognition of his kindness in repairing the Resolute at the Naval Yard, New York. The figurehead is currently finished in brown paint.
Bibliography
Admiralty Catalogue (1911) No 212

Ownership Information

Owner type
Public Institution
Owner name
National Maritime Museum
Contact details
Royal Museums Greenwich, London, SE10 9NF
Ownership can be cited online
Yes
Accessible to public
By appointment
Data verified by owner
Yes
Date verified

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