Digitised Image

[Le Breton, Louis Auguste Marie] 1818-1866 :[The Astrolabe caught in pack-ice in Antarctica, February 1838] J. Dumont d'Urville Astrolabe command. 1838.

Reference Number: A-234-011

Shows the Astrolabe, caught bow first in pack-ice with the sea behind the ship. Three groups of sailors are hauling on ropes at the ice to help the ship to penetrate it. One man is attacking the ice with a pick-axe.

Key terms:
1 image, categorised under Watercolours, Wash drawings and Drawings, related to Louis Auguste Marie Le Breton, Jules Sebastien Cesar Dumont d'Urville, Astrolabe (Ship), La Zelee (Ship), Antarctica, Antarctica - Discovery and exploration, Marine accidents - Antarctica, French - Antarctica, Seafarers and Ships - Equipment and supplies.

Part of:
[Le Breton, Louis Auguste Marie] 1818-1866 :[The Astrolabe caught in pack-ice in Antarctica, February 1838] J. Dumont d'Urville Astrolabe command. 1838., Reference Number A-234-011 (1 digitised items)

Extent: 1 watercolour(s)Ink, watercolour and Chinese white on paper 269 x 209 mm. Vertical imageSingle art work

Historical Notes: The Astrolabe and Zelee encountered Antarctic pack-ice on 4 February 1838 and were trapped in it until 9 February not far from the South Orkneys. The two ships also made a return visit in January 1840, going further south past the Antarctic Circle and claimed Adelie Land for France. It is possible that the scene depicted shows the latter episode, although the inscription indicates that the 1838 episode is shown and the ships were not trapped in 1840. The scene corresponds with Dumont d'Urville's description of events on 4 Feb., 1838: "The Astrolabe moved forward a distance of two or three times its own length and stopped. We then had to use every means at our disposal. Men climbed down onto the ice to tie ropes to the large floes and those who remained on board hauled on them to move painfully forward, while others on the ice tried to push aside with picks, pincers and pickaxes the blocks which would form too hard an obstacle for the stem of our corvette" (Voyage au pole sud, vol II, pp. 91-2, translated and reproduced in Dunmore, J. French explorers in the Pacific. Oxford, 1969, p. 348.

Conditions governing access to original: Partial restriction - Use photographic copy in preference to original.

Other copies available: File PrintIn Drawings & Prints under Artist/Title (DFP-003244)

Inscriptions: Inscribed - Recto - beneath image: J. Dumont D'Urville Astrolabe command. 1838. J. Dumont D'Urville. [includes some illegible letters]

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