Figurehead of the HMS Resolute
© National Maritime Museum
Photo: © National Maritime Museum
Kidbrooke Stores, NMM
Figurehead depicting the head of a polar bear from the Arctic exploration vessel HMS 'Resolute'.
Smith of Newcastle
H66 x W27.9 x D25.4 cms
Acquired by the Maritime Museum from Chatham Dockyard, date unknown.
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.
Admiralty Catalogue (1911) No 212
National Maritime Museum
Royal Museums Greenwich, London, SE10 9NF
Ownership can be cited online
Accessible to public
Data verified by owner