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Abalone shell collected by George Peard

Abalone shell collected by George Peard

Lieutenant George Peard

Lieutenant George Peard collected shells, birds and minerals during his voyage of discovery on HMS Blossom.

George Peard and HMS Blossom

On the 19 May 1825 HMS Blossom set sail from Spithead in Hampshire. The voyage of discovery took her to little known areas of the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Straits. Commander Frederick William Beechey captained the Blossom. While there he wanted to explore and meet with two other ships commanded by Captains Parry and Franklin. They were conducting Arctic missions and also attempting to reach the Bering Straits by new routes.

Also on board the Blossom was the naturalist George Peard who held the rank of Lieutenant. During this voyage he collected shells, birds, minerals and ethnographic objects including coins and Eskimo weapons, wherever the Blossom made port. The shells and minerals are well documented and most are identified. Peard even had a text written by the taxonomist Lamarck to help him identify the shells he found, which would have been unusual that time.

George Peard and RAMM

Family members donated material from Peard’s collection to the Museum in 1916 and 1938. Browse these objects on Collections Explorer.

Among the shells donated to RAMM are six abalone shells. The one pictured was collected along America’s pacific coast somewhere between California and the Baja Peninsula. Others came from as far afield as the seas around Japan. Peard’s field notes mention that one particular specimen was collected while in the Loochoo Islands (now Ryukyu Islands) in 1827.

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