Fakes & Forgeries: Buyer Beware!

Fakes & Forgeries: Buyer Beware!

The month of October is affectionately called ‘spooky season’ by many folks. While the word spooky makes most people think of ghosts, vampires, and other creepy things, equally spooky for me are the number of items for sale online marketed as authentic pieces of fur trade history!

Ok, maybe I’m trying too hard to connect this blog post to the season. BUT there is an abundance of fakes and forgeries on the market, all trying to entice unlikely buyers searching for Hudson’s Bay Company history.  This trend is not seasonal, but it always make me cringe. I receive a few emails each year where someone has spent a substantial amount of money online on a bale seal, token, amulet, or trade axe and they want to learn more about it. I always feel so terrible when I have to let them know that they likely purchased a fake or forgery.

Which means it’s time for me to share some of my ‘red flags’ when looking at online auction sites for fur trade history. I’ve also written about two commonly forged items, bale seals and trade axes, for Canada’s History Magazine so you can read those too (links at the end of the blog!).

This month I decided to do a quick google search to see what came up when I typed “Hudson’s Bay Company tokens” and “Hudson’s Bay Company bale seals”. I immediately spotted numerous red flags: anytime I see a conjoined HB I’m a bit suspicious; iconography that bears no resemblance to the HBC Coat of Arms also sets off alarms; and anytime there’s a very old date stamped on the item my hackles raise. Why is that? Well, HBC was fairly routine with how, where, and when they marked their items. Although trade tokens were highly variable during the earlier years, and many posts made and issued their own, anytime HBC produced something it looked pretty official and often used their full name, or their coat of arms (or a portion of it).

Trade Tokens

Here are some examples of HBC trade tokens from the Museum Collection:

Four brass trade tokens with HBC coat of arms in a black velvet case.

This is a set of the brass trade tokens for the East Main district. Note the Coat of Arms.

A set of aluminum trade tokens marked HBC or Hudson's Bay Company in a frame on red velvet backing.

Here is a framed set of the thinner aluminum tokens used in the Arctic and the Labrador/St. Lawrence districts.

And here are some items I found this month, including this one from an auction house where somebody paid $360 USD in 2022 for an item that is clearly fake.

Note the large beaver icon in the centre and the miss-spelling of Hudson’s Bay Company.

And these tokens which are slightly better forgeries, but still fake none-the-less (and I am not a member of WorthPoint so I don’t know how much these sold for!).

Screen shot from an online site selling a number of brass tokens.

These brass tokens look a little better but still not how HBC would mark their tokens.

This one on ebay might be the best forgery. It uses the Coat of Arms, but it’s still not a 1670 medallion. It looks modelled after a much later commemorative coin, and if you look at the reverse in the second image, there’s no way HBC was putting French on their early coins and tokens!

Screen shot showing the front of a fake coin that uses the coat of arms and looks pretty authentic.

This is a pretty good looking fake, but the date, 1670, is the red flag. That’s not the Company’s name at that time period and it looks like a commemorative coin!

Screen grab showing the reverse of the token with a ship and writing in French.

The reverse of this coin or token is also questionable, especially the French!

Bale Seals

Lead bale seals are another commonly faked item. I would encourage folks to look at images of actual bale seals to see that they’re relatively small, thin, and intended to be pinched or crimped. So there are often two parts with a small connecting piece. What I tend to see online are these thick, flat circles with crude HB or conjoined HB C on them and a perforated hole.  Here are two similar examples both posted to a coin community forum:

A strange leather bag on the left and three chunky round objects with conjoined HB.

The conjoined HB and chunkiness of these make me question their authenticity.

Round object with a drill hole at the top and crude conjoined HB.

Again, this looks quite crude and unlike any authentic HBC bale seal.

And here are some examples from the HBC Collection. These are 20th century varieties, no longer made from lead but enamel-coated zinc or aluminum:

Two grey (zinc) bale seals in the front and red enamel-coated ones in the back, all featuring HBC coat of arms.

Zinc examples in the front, including one that has been pinched with red enamel-coated ones in the back, both featuring HBC coat of arms.

Grey (zinc) seals alongside red and gold examples.

Three 20th century examples from the collection: plain zinc, red, and gold coloured.

So please be cautious when purchasing items online, because there’s nothing scarier than finding out you’ve wasted your hard-earned dollars!

Dr. Amelia Fay

Dr. Amelia Fay

Curator of Anthropology & the HBC Museum Collection

Amelia Fay is Curator of Anthropology and the HBC Museum Collection at the Manitoba Museum. She received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Manitoba (2004), an MA in Archaeology…
Meet Dr. Amelia Fay

Shedding Light on the Darker History of Nonsuch

I recently wrote a fun little article with some facts about Nonsuch for the local newspaper, but I thought we should take some time to dive a bit deeper into the darker history of Nonsuch. Don’t get me wrong, like many Winnipeggers I have a sentimental attachment to this ship, but sometimes we need to take a step back and critically reflect on history. The history of our beloved Nonsuch is no different.

The original Nonsuch voyage in 1668 was a scouting mission to see if a northern fur trade route through Hudson Bay would work. This voyage was funded by a group of wealthy investors, including Prince Rupert, the cousin of England’s King Charles II. The return of Nonsuch in 1669 with a hold full of furs proved it a worthy investment, and led to the establishment of what we now call the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1670.

How did Prince Rupert and this group of investors amass their wealth to invest in such a risky mission? Through their involvement with the Atlantic slave trade. There is significant overlap in the investors, Directors, and Governors of two early British companies (both with very wordy names). The Company of Royal Adventurers Trading to Africa, which would later become the Royal African Company (RAC), and the Governor and Company of Adventurers Trading to Hudson Bay, later, Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC). The RAC had secured a monopoly in the West African slave trade, and for awhile, HBC had secured a monopoly in the North American fur trade. The connections between the two companies run deep. There are 81 years out of 129, for the period between 1670 and 1799, where the governor of HBC had direct and visible ties to businesses involved in some way with slavery (Lindsay 2021). 

Photograph looking past the stern of a large wooden sip (the Nonsuch) toward a painted background mural showing blue water and a hilly coastline in the distance.

Note the entrance to the HBC Gallery, the old sign retains part of the lengthy old Company name. Image credit: Ian McCausland/Manitoba Museum

Looking up a walkway in the Nonsuch Gallery of the Manitoba Museum. On the left, a large wooden sailing ship (the Nonsuch) is “docked”. On the right are facades of old fashioned wooden buildings. The gallery is lit in reds and oranges.

Wander the town of Deptford in 1669, while thinking about the history of this little ship and its connection to global colonialism. Image credit: Ian McCausland/Manitoba Museum

When people think of colonialism in Canada they often ignore this early period of European “exploration” and the fur trade, focusing more on the events after Confederation. But it’s important to look at the long-term history of colonialism, and Nonsuch is part of that. Does that mean we can’t still love boarding the ship and immersing ourselves in 1669 Deptford during visits to the Museum? I don’t think so. I find balance between my personal nostalgia for the ship with a respectful understanding of the role it played in the ongoing colonial process. 

So come and visit the ship and embrace the memories and joy you may have for it, but also take time to acknowledge its darker history. 

References Cited & Additional Reading 

This inspiration for this blog post came from the wonderful dissertation of Dr. Anne Lindsay, who did immense archival research to bring these connections to light.  The reference for her dissertation is below, but also a recent article from the University of Manitoba on the broad impact of her work as it relates to slavery in Canada. 

Lindsay, Anne  2021  “especially in this free Country”: Webs of Empire, Slavery, and the Fur Trade, unpublished Doctoral dissertation, Department of History, University of Manitoba. 

Slavery as part of Canadian history

Dr. Amelia Fay

Dr. Amelia Fay

Curator of Anthropology & the HBC Museum Collection

Amelia Fay is Curator of Anthropology and the HBC Museum Collection at the Manitoba Museum. She received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Manitoba (2004), an MA in Archaeology…
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Baychimo: The Adventures of the Ghost Ship of the Arctic

By Cortney Pachet, Collections Registration Associate, Human History and former Assistant Curator for the HBC Museum Collection when Amelia was on parental leave. 

The Hudson’s Bay Company has a long nautical history, from the Nonsuch to countless canoes and York Boats to steamers, paddlewheels and schooners. While the majority of HBC’s travel and transport took place on water, we also see a pattern of the Company’s vessels meeting untimely ends in tragic wrecks. 

Princess Louise (aka Olympia) – sank
Anson Northup (aka Pioneer) – sank
S.S. Beaver – Wrecked
Cadborough – Wrecked
Labouchere – Sank
Baymaud – Sank
Mount Royal – Wrecked
Aklavik – Caught fire, sank
Nascopie – Wrecked 

The Baychimo, a steamer based in the Western Arctic, finds herself amongst these ill-fated vessels, but exactly how she met her end remains one of the biggest mysteries in HBC history. 

Designed and built at Lindholmens Verkstad AB (Aktiebolag) in Gothenburg, Sweden, she was originally christened Ångermanelfven after one of Sweden’s longest rivers, Ångerman. The vessel had a steel hull, was 230 ft (70.1 m) long, and powered by a triple expansion steam engine. She was also outfitted with schooner rigging. 

Ångermanelfven launched in 1914 and was used as a trading vessel for her German owners around the Baltic Sea. The ship continued to serve Germany’s Baltic posts through WWI, protected by the Imperial German Navy. 

Following the Great War, Ångermanelfven was ceded to the British government by Germany in 1920 as part of war reparations negotiated at the Treaty of Versailles, article 244, Annex III: “Germany recognizes the right of the Allied and Associated Powers to the replacement, ton for ton and class for class, of all merchant ships and fishing boats lost and damaged owing to the war.” 

Consequently, all German ships over 800 tons were confiscated and divided between France, Great Britain and the US. Ångermanelfven was sailed out of the Baltic Sea for the last time by a British crew, destined for London where she was put up for sale to commercial interests. The Hudson’s Bay Company purchased the Ångermanelfven for 15,000 pounds and she was renamed Baychimo, joining the company’s fleet of cargo ships. 

Her first voyage for HBC took place in 1921, were she served in the Eastern Arctic, coinciding with the establishment of Pond Inlet. The following year, the Baychimo was sent to Siberia with Captain Sidney Cornwell at the helm. Cornwell enlisted with HBC to serve as Master of the Baychimo at the onset of the Kamchatka Venture in 1922. The Kamchatka Venture aimed to trade furs in Siberia, but a changing political climate caused the HBC to withdraw after only two years. 

Like other HBC vessels, the Baychimo’s homeport was Androssan, Scotland and each year, she would travel to Scotland for the winter, returning to Canada by way of the Panama Canal. In 1924, the Baychimo sailed to the Western Arctic by way of the Suez Canal, meaning that in the course of her career, she accomplished global circumnavigation (Achievement Unlocked!). 

Following the dissolution of Kamchatka Venture at the end of 1923, Baychimo was reassigned to the Western Arctic, traveling between Vancouver and HBC posts along the Yukon and Northwest Territories northern coast from 1924 to 1931. Later in her career, she would winter at Vancouver, including 1930 to repair damage to her rudder, propeller and steering. 

The Baychimo carried cargo to these Western Arctic HBC, RCMP, and missionary posts but also occasionally took a small number of passengers, who were listed as part of the crew since the vessel wasn’t classified as a passenger ship. The passengers would do jobs to pay for their room and board. On average, the Baychimo had a crew of 32. 

In late September, 1931 on her way back to Vancouver, the Baychimo was surprised by a blizzard at the Sea Horse Islands, near Point Barrow on Alaska’s northern coast and the crew was forced to anchor the Baychimo to weather the storm. It soon became apparent that the steamer was caught in ice and would have to overwinter in the Arctic. Using parts of the ship, the crew began construction on winter accommodations for the crew that would remain behind with the ship until the spring. The large Baychimo couldn’t be heated all winter long, so the wooden and snow structure was a warmer and safer alternative. The crew removed food and other supplies from the vessel as they set up camp. Her passengers and some of her crew were flown to Kotzebue, Alaska and on to Vancouver. Maintenance of the ship’s rudder was a daily chore for the remaining crew, keeping ice from building up around this critical piece of equipment. 

At the end of November, another storm swept through and when it cleared, the Baychimo was gone. The captain and crew assumed the vessel had sunk, but they soon received word that an Inuk hunter had spotted the Baychimo, once again packed in ice, roughly 72 km south of their encampment. Captain Cornwell and the crew made their way to the Baychimo and boarded the vessel, removing a large quantity of furs and abandoning the ship for the last time, determining that she was no longer seaworthy after ricocheting solo through the icy waters of the Beaufort Sea. Furthermore, the Baychimo was caught in ice once again, so she wouldn’t be going anywhere anytime soon, right? 


Captain Cornwell and the remaining crew were flown back to Vancouver in March of 1932, where paperwork was filed for the loss of the vessel and the negligible cargo left behind. Shortly thereafter, the Baychimo was spotted again but about 480 km to the east of where the crew had last seen her. The following March, she was seen floating peacefully near the shore of Alaska by Leslie Melvin, a man travelling to Nome with his dog sled team. 

In the decades that followed, many people would spot the Baychimo, now dubbed the “Ghost Ship of the Arctic” as she traveled long unencumbered by crew and cargo. 

  • March 1933, she was found by a group of Indigenous Alaskans who travelled to her, boarded her and were trapped aboard for 10 days by an unexpected storm. 
  • In the summer of 1933, she was boarded by the crew and passenger of Trader, a small schooner from Nome, Alaska. The single passenger was a Scottish botanist named Isobel Wylie Hutchison on an expedition to collect Alaskan and Arctic wildflowers. The crew of Trader reported that at the same time, a group of Inupiat boarded the ship, having travelled out to her by umiak and removed mattresses, chairs and other items like Sunlight dish soap, tarpaulins, a bucket of sweet pickles and a silver toast rack from the vessel. The following day, the Baychimo had once again disappeared, although Trader crewmembers repeatedly spotted her “hurrying north in her private ice pan” later in their journey toward Herschel Island in Yukon. 
  • September 1935, she was seen off Alaska’s northwest coast.[1] 
  • November 1939, she was boarded by Captain Hugh Polson, wishing to salvage her, but the creeping ice floes intervened and the captain had to abandon her. This is the last recorded boarding of Baychimo. 
  • After 1939, she was seen floating alone and without crew numerous times, but had always eluded capture. Recorded sightings slowed during WWII and in the subsequent years. 
  • March 1962, she was seen drifting along the Beaufort Sea coast by a group of Inuit. 
  • She was found frozen in an ice pack in 1969, 38 years after she was abandoned. This is the last recorded sighting of Baychimo. 

In 2006, the Alaskan government began work on a project to solve the mystery of “the Ghost Ship of the Arctic” and find an estimated 4,000 ships lost along the coast of Alaska. She has not yet been found, but given that 50 years have elapsed since her last sighting, it’s likely that the Baychimo is resting at the bottom of the Beaufort Sea. 

Although the Baychimo’s impact on HBC operations was fairly uneventful, her legacy as the Ghost Ship of the Arctic is one that persists in the narrative of the company’s history. 

Images: Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, Archives of Manitoba, HBHL photo collection subject files, 1987-1363-B-1111-751922-1931, H4-198-4-6 

Black and white photograph of a large dark ship sailing through thick ice.

Baychimo in 1933.

Black and white photograph looking onto the deck of a smaller ship with two masts, with several people on board.

The crew and passengers of the Schooner Trader with their haul from Baychimo.

Sephia-toned photograph of a group of pepole in winter-wear standing on snowy ground beside a small airplane.

Crew and passengers leaving for Kotzebub, Alaska.

Black and white photograph of three individuals in winter-wear standing on ice below the stern of the Baychimo.

Crew maintaining the rudder. 

Black and white photograph of three individuals wearing coats and hats standing outside a small wooden building. On the overhanging eaves above their heads is painted “Hudson’s Bay House / 1 Lime St”.

Crew during the Kamchatka Venture. 

Black and white photograph of two individuals on thick ice below the stern of the ship “BAYCHIMO”.

Maintaining the rudder.

Black and white photograph of a single story building on flat snowy ground. In the distance a steam ship can be seen.

Overwinter accommodations.

Black and white photograph buildings with snow and ice packed up against the sides nearly to the rooves where four chimneys released smoke.

Overwinter accommodations trapped in ice. 

Black and white photograph of a group of individuals in winter-wears beside a piles with some supplies and barrels. A few of the group are looking and smiling at the camera.

Inupiat with their haul from Baychimo.

Black and white photograph from the deck of a tall ship looking down onto the ice below where a small group stands watching as supplies are lowered on a hook.

Removing supplies from Baychimo.

Black and white photograph of a small group pulling a sled with what appears to be a small boat on it as they move away from a larger ship in the ice.

Removing supplies from Baychimo.

Sephia-toned photograph of a steam ship with ice reaching high up on its sides and at its stern.

Trapped in ice.

Sephia-toned photograph taken from very high up, looking down at a sheet of ice, where a steam ship is frozen in place.

Written on the back of this photograph is “Bye Baychimo”.

Black and white photograph of a tall steam ship in a narrow dock.

Wintering at Vancouver Docks.

Cortney Pachet

Cortney Pachet

Collections Technician – Human History

Cortney Pachet started working at the Manitoba Museum in 2001 as a tour guide while earning her a BA (Honours) from the University of Winnipeg. She quickly realized that she wanted a career in museums…
Meet Cortney Pachet

Legacies of Confederation: The Document that Shaped Canada 

2017 marks Canada’s 150th birthday, and to commemorate this anniversary all seven museum curators collaborated on the creation of an exhibit that really highlights what was happening here in Manitoba at the time of Confederation, and the effects of this political shift. Our Legacies of Confederation: A New Look at Manitoba History opened last week, and runs throughout 2017 so you’ll have plenty of time to check it out. 

As with any exhibit, there is never enough space to tell all of the stories we want. Instead, each curator will be blogging about an artifact or specimen in the exhibit, or perhaps things that didn’t make it into the exhibit. This post falls into the latter category, as I had the fantastic opportunity to view what I think is one of the most important documents for Canadian history and one that shaped Canada as we know it today. 

Last summer during my UK research trip I made a stop at the National Archives in Kew specifically to view this document.  I had made an appointment in advance (always advised!) but was very excited to finally visit this incredible institution. 

What document am I talking about?  The Deed of Surrender (ref # CO42/694).  This document outlines the sale of Rupert’s Land (which King Charles II granted the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1670) to the Canadian Government.  And here’s why this document is so important, look at this map of Rupert’s Land territory and just think about how different our beloved Canada would look if this transaction had not taken place!

Exterior of the national Archives in Kew, UK.

National Archives (UK)

A map of Rupert's Land overlaid over the continent of North America.

Rough outline of Rupert’s Land (grey area). 

The Deed was signed November 19th, 1869 but due to some political disruption right here in Red River, it did not come into effect until July 15, 1870, the same day as the Manitoba Act.  The HBC received £300,000 for the land and was able to keep some land along what was called the ‘fertile belt’ (an area bounded by the 49th parallel to the south, the Rockies to the West, the North Saskatchewan River, and Lake of the Woods to the east).  HBC was also able to retain the lands around their trading posts and was guaranteed the right to trade without taxation. 

Some might ask why HBC was willing to sell their vast empire for such a small price, it seems like a lot of money (especially in those days) but when you consider the natural resources of this 3.9 million square kilometers (roughly 1/3 of Canada today) territory, Canada got it for a steal.  Especially when you look at what the US paid Russia for Alaska in 1867, a whopping $7.2 million!

So, what motivated the HBC to go along with this? 

Since this post is already lengthy I’ll give you an over-simplified answer.  HBC had no interest in governing or additional colonies throughout the territory (to get the full, fascinating scoop I highly recommend HBC Heritage Services and the Canadian Encyclopedia. 

How did a very newly formed Canada afford what has been considered the largest real estate transaction in Canadian history?

They received a loan from Britain to facilitate the deal.  Hence, the Deed of Surrender is a British Document regarding a transaction between the Crown and a British company, which is why the original is preserved for us at Kew. 


A note on the document: the three pages of vellum are stitched together and the entire thing folds into a pouch (which is why there are creases on each page).  My photos have been watermarked at the request of the archives, but if you’re not in the UK and want to see the Deed the HBC Archives has a copy. 

Middle section of the first page, outlining the territories included in the surrender.

Photograph of a large sheet of paper filled with very formal cursive writing. Points of the deed are numbered in the left margin, third through fourteenth.

Page 2 of the Deed 

Photograph of a large sheet of paper filled with very formal cursive writing. The writing starts off, “To all whom these presents shall come unto, or concern, the Governor and Company of Adventurers of England,”.

Page 3 of the Deed, the price and date can be seen at the bottom 

Photograph of the basckside of a folded piece of paper with formal cursive writing and signatures on it, starting, “Sealed under the Common Seal of the within mentioned Governor and Company”.

Even the folded parts to form the pouch contain relevant information and signatures.

Photograph of the front side of a folded set of papers. Formal cursvie reads, “The Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson's Bay / to / Her Majesty Queen Victoria. / Surrender”. In the upper right corner reads, “Dated 19th November 1869”.

The front of the pouch.

A blue seal with a crest bearing two rearing elks either side of a shield with four beavers on it.

The back of the pouch, sealed with a crest. 

Dr. Amelia Fay

Dr. Amelia Fay

Curator of Anthropology & the HBC Museum Collection

Amelia Fay is Curator of Anthropology and the HBC Museum Collection at the Manitoba Museum. She received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Manitoba (2004), an MA in Archaeology…
Meet Dr. Amelia Fay

Planes, Trains, Automobiles, & A Ferry: My UK Adventure

This summer I spent three glorious weeks exploring museum collections, historic ships, archaeological and historic sites, and local cuisine in England and Scotland. Here’s the stats on this trip: 

  • 8 cities 
  • 22 museums & galleries (including 4 historic ships) 
  • 15 heritage sites (including archaeological sites) 
  • 2 17th century pubs (for Nonsuch Gallery research!) 
  • 380,504 steps (according to my iphone health app) 
  • 10 days of train travel 
  • 1 roundtrip ferry to Orkney 
  • 4 days of driving (eep!) in Orkney 

I went on this whirlwind trip with two major goals: to view collections related to the HBC; and to conduct research for our upcoming Nonsuch Gallery renewal.  I came back exhausted, but also incredibly inspired and I can’t wait to start pulling all of my photographs and notes together. 

For some folks my itinerary might seem a bit museum-heavy, but for a nerd like me it was heaven!  In fact I really only started to experience museum fatigue on my last stop, in Edinburgh (which just means I’ll have to go back!). 

So, did I achieve my goals?  YES! 

Viewing collections housed in other institutions is important to get a sense of what else is out there and learn more about the people collecting Indigenous artifacts during their employment with the HBC. Some of the artifacts I viewed were quite similar to ones here within the HBC Museum Collection, including some beautiful embroidery that was likely made by the same women from Norway House that made the pieces my colleague Maureen Matthews exhibited last year. 

I also had great meetings with people who care for Cutty Sark (in Greenwich), Victory and Mary Rose (Portsmouth). I feel quite lucky that our Nonsuch is indoors and does not have to deal with the elements which pose much greater conservation issues than what we deal with in our climate-controlled gallery! 

I hope to blog about specific stops along my journey as time permits so stay tuned, but here’s a small sample of photos!

Dr. Amelia Fay sitting in front of a table with several artifacts laid out in front of her, holding a shoe as she makes notes in a notebook.

Examining artifacts at the British Museum’s offsite storage.

A ram’s head with large curling horns that has been converted into a snuff mull with a jewelled container on the top of its head and light chains handing down from it’s forehead, connected to snuff tools.

A ram’s head snuff mull similar to ours in the HBC Gallery (Wellcome Collection, London)

Photograph looking up at a large crest and on a ceiling. The coat of arms bears two rearing elk either side of a shield with a beaver in each of the four sections of a cross. A fox sits above the shield, and a banner below reads, “Pro Pelle Cutem”.

The HBC crest can still be seen at Hudson Bay House, their former London headquarters.

View of a large ship’s keel displayed in dry dock hall where viewers can get up close with is. A glass ceiling has been built at “water level” through which one can see the rest of the ship above.

Impressive view of the Cutty Sark keel. 

A large docked ship with three masts. While there is full rigging in place, the sails are drawn up.

Cutty Sark in all her rigged glory! 

A close-up of the stern of a large wooden ship with “VICTORY” written across the back. In the background is a domed black building.

The stern of the Victory, with the Mary Rose gallery (the strange black orb) in the background.

A large wooden ship in light-beige wood with thick dark stripes. The ship has three masts and three levels of gun ports.

The Victory had a face-lift recently, they’ve done paint-chip analysis and these are her original colours!

Looking down into a large gallery full of glass display cases, with a wrap-around balcony-style second level. A sign at the top of the frame says “Pitt Rivers Museum / Anthropology and World Archaeology”.

If you visit the Pitt Rivers in Oxford give yourself lots of time!

Dr. Amelia Day wearing blue latax glove examining an artifact at a table. Several other artifacts sit on padding in front of her and in a tray beside her.

Looking at artifacts in Aberdeen, Scotland!

Looking into a large gallery space with a oval domed glass ceiling. Two wrap around balconies show second and third levels to the building.

The National Museum of Scotland (Edinburgh) is a stunning building.

A mannequin wearing a jacket and light-coloured fur hat sitting in a small boat with a pack. Behind the mannequin is a large wall handing with the HBC Coat of Arms. The coat of arms bears two rearing elk either side of a shield with a beaver in each of the four sections of a cross. A fox sits above the shield, and a banner below reads, “Pro Pelle Cutem”.

Halkett boat diorama in the Stromness Museum (Orkney). A must-see museum for anyone interested in HBC!

A brass bell with a cord hanging from inside it suspended in a small wooden arch. “AMELIA” is engraved on the bell and a plaque belwo reads, “Ship’s bell from S.S Amelia / Loaned by Magnus Ritch”.

They let me ring the bell, it is my name afterall.

Dr. Amelia Fay

Dr. Amelia Fay

Curator of Anthropology & the HBC Museum Collection

Amelia Fay is Curator of Anthropology and the HBC Museum Collection at the Manitoba Museum. She received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Manitoba (2004), an MA in Archaeology…
Meet Dr. Amelia Fay