John Rae’s Fiddle

Stromness Museum

Renowned Orcadian Dr John Rae (1813-1893) was the most successful of all Victorian Arctic explorers, undertaking four expeditions. His fourth and final expedition (1853-4) was his most significant – it was during this expedition that he learnt the fate of the lost Franklin expedition and made the discovery of Rae Strait which proved to be the last link in a first navigable North West Passage.
John Rae is known to have taken fiddles on his expeditions. Traditional Orcadian fiddle music played an important part in his upbringing and is still an important part of Orcadian culture across the globe. While on his travels music would have entertained everyone during the long Arctic nights.

This object won the November 2020 vote and a podcast will soon be recorded and released

Object Location: Stromness Museum 52 Alfred St, Stromness KW16 3DH

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