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Museum catalogue: Antarctic Collection


Ice axe

Accession no.: Y: 2011/8a-b
Object name: Ice axe
Title: Ice axe
Description: A long-handled ice axe (a) with a leather guard (b), made by François Simond & Son of Chamonix, France and supplied by Robert Lawrie Ltd. of London. The axe was used by J.G.D. Pratt on the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1955-58, and the head is stamped 'J.G.D. Pratt'.
Classified name:
SPRI theme personal equipment
Current place name Antarctic regions
UDC 685.727
Geographic UDC (*7)
Getty AAT
Number of items: 2
Full description:

a: A long-handled ice axe. The metal head has a pick with teeth on the underside on one side and an adze on the other. It is stamped on one side with the name of the manufacturer, 'FRANÇOIS SIMOND & FILS // CHAMONIX. MONT-BLANC' and on the other with the name of the supplier, 'ROBERT LAWRIE LTD // LONDON W1 // MADE IN FRANCE'. It is also stamped 'Simond Special B' and 'J.G.D. PRATT'. The head is attached to the handle by means of a split socket and rivets. The handle is made of wood and is oval in cross-section. It has a metal cap around the end, with a metal spike protruding from the butt.

b: A red-brown leather guard, made in two pieces (one for the pick and one for the adze) which buckle together over the head with a leather strap and metal buckle.

  • a: Width: 315mm, length: 883mm, depth: 70mm
  • b: Width: 83mm, length: 345mm, depth: 50mm
Associated person(s):
  • Used by: Pratt, John Geoffrey Drewe (1955 - 1958)
Associated expedition(s):
  • Used on: Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1955-58 (1955 - 1958)