First Class Smoke Room Furniture


Damon Hill

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Jun 13, 2004
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Hi Ken. If memory serves me correctly, towards the end of last year I emailed some pics of models I have been making of the First-Class Lounge, Smoking Room and Turkish Bath, to Parks Stephenson which I think he then passed onto you to see. The Smoking Room has the red and blue tiles with the burgundy furniture. Before I remade all the furniture into the burgundy colour, I put some of the old green covered furniture into it and it did indeed look dreadful with the red and blue tiles....they didn't go at all....not that this proves anything of course!! Incidentally, several years ago I had the opportunity to study one of the Olympic's Dining saloon chairs up close at an exhibition I was working at and saw the leather had become a bit mottled over time. I wish now I had taken photos of it ...I also wish that I had sat on it....was too afraid it might break or something!
 

Ken Marschall

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Jan 8, 2002
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Damon,

I'll check back through images I may have received via Parks, thanks. I remember the T. Bath ones. Fantastic job! If your model pictures are online somewhere, will you let me know?

"...I had the opportunity to study one of the Olympic's Dining saloon chairs up close at an exhibition I was working at and saw the leather had become a bit mottled over time. I wish now I had taken photos of it..."

I have a small fragment of leather purportedly from an Olympic dining saloon chair, a gift from Peter Boyd-Smith many years ago. He acquired a chair that was, according to the seller, from that ship. (The dining room of the Belgenland -- and perhaps one or two others, for all I know -- had the same dining room chairs and linoleum pattern as Olympic, so the provenance for this "Olympic" chair rested solely with the verbal assurance of the seller, as far as I am aware.)

The chair had been reupholstered, but in examining it he told me he found a few sections of the original, old leather still tacked on the bottom. I was thrilled when he gave me a cutting (maybe 1 x 2 inches). Because it was underneath it's like new.

The set designers for "Titanic" tried to match the color of this fragment for the vinyl seat coverings used on the set, but the end result is a bit off. The vinyl they found and used is too dark, as I recall, and a bit too "bluish."

If you have any access to a Pantone color key book I could let you know the color numbers (or mix of colors) for this chair leather fragment I have.

Thanks, Brian, for the link to the higher-rez image of your tinted photo. I see the "pinkish" color a bit better here in the floor, but it needs to be a darker red than that, as you know, I'm sure.

Regards,

Ken
 

Damon Hill

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Jun 13, 2004
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I'm glad you liked the pic of the Turkish Bath, Ken. There are pics of the Lounge and the Smoking Room (unfinished) on this website under "Titanic models/modelling" One thread is "Modelling the Smoking Room" and the other is " First-Class Lounge Model". I have much work still to do on the Smoking Room though. You can't see much of the floor unfortunately due to the angle I took the picture at...just a snippet of it near the fireplace.
Unfortunately I dont have access to a Pantone color key book, but I think a friend has one. I always imagined the green of the Dining Saloon chairs to have more 'yellow' in it, and when I saw the (supposed)"Olympic" chair it was much the way i imagined it would be ...minus the mottling of course. Incidentally there was a small plaque on the woodwork just below the studs on the backrest on which was the number '123'. I don't know if this was an item number from an auction, or whether the chairs were individually numbered, when on the ship??
With regards to Brians picture, and the discussion of the "tones' of the blue and red, for want of a better word, I played around with many differing shades of blue and red. True red was far too gaudy and gave the floor a 70's psychedelic look which was grose! And some of the blues were too weak and got overpowered, but from your description of what the true shades are, I think I've got them about right now.
 
Feb 14, 2011
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Given the differences in the color scheme of Olympic & Titanic's Smoking Room floor tiles, I am curious if equally subtle differences could be found in other aspects of the Smoking Room decor- from the furniture, to the stained glass, to the ornate carvings...

Regardless of how similar Olympic & Titanic's 1st class Smoking Rooms were, I am frankly shocked the room on Titanic was never photographed. The rooms were similar- but they were not the same. There were clearly some differences on Olympic & Titanic's Smoking Rooms, such as the painting over the fireplace, and the revolving door that communicated with the Titanic's portside Verandah cafe.....
Had Titanic lived a bit longer, perhaps her public rooms would have been photographed, and graced the promotional literature of the time.
After all, if Titanic was an 'improved Olympic', why not publish photos of her public rooms, rather than Olympic's?

I wonder how radically different Britannic's Smoking Room furniture would have been from her two sisters?
Surviving woodwork intended for installation (yet never installed) in Britannic's 1st class Smoking Room revealed some interesting changes in regards to the carvings on the woodwork. The floor tile pattern seemed to be distinctly different from that on Olympic & Titanic......

It would have been interesting to see what changes took place in Olympic's smoking Room over her career-what changes were made? The grand staircase was painted green- so who knows what happened in the Smoking Room...

Here's hoping one on one of my future antiquing binges I'll find a shoebox filled with unpublished Titanic photographs, and we'll finally see Titanic's smoking Room...
 
B

Brian R Peterson

Guest
Hi Tarn,

The only noticeable changes made to the Olympic Smoke Room was the furniture, the pebbled leather was replaced by smooth leather and the floor tiles were changed out, as seen here:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b184/Hangman_Heydrich/OlympicFCSmokeRoomcirca1920d-1.jpg

And here is a section of stained glass from the Olympic as I believe it may have looked:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b184/Hangman_Heydrich/OlympicFCSmokeRoompanelingin1935a.jpg
And a drawing of the Titanic Smoke Room:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b184/Hangman_Heydrich/TitanicFCSmokingRooma.jpg

Best Regards,

Brian
 
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Sean Hankins

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May 15, 2004
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Brian,

As always, great work. The stained glass in particular is very impressive. Makes me wonder why no one (at least that we know of) purchased Olympic's smoking room panelling (not counting the small amount that pops up on ebay every so often) as was done with the Lounge at the White Swan. Your renderings make me wish that the stained glass around the funnel casing in particular had survived.


Damon,

Have you posted pics of your turkish bath model here somewhere? If its anything like your other two I'm sure its very impressive.

All the best,

Sean
 
Feb 14, 2011
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Stunning images Brian, thank you....

A pity those wood panels from Olympic's Smoking Room have not survived...And just imagine had Titanic's smoking Room survived- as impressed as we were by the leaded glass windows in the 1st class Reception Room- I think the stained glass in the smoking room would have left us speechless...

Page 178 of Dr. Ballard's 'The Discovery of the Titanic" offers us a glimpse of a fragment of smoking room stained glass in the debris field-
Hopefully other, more intact glass panels will one day be spotted in the debris field..
 

Damon Hill

Member
Jun 13, 2004
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Sean, I don't think i have posted pics of the Turkish bath on here. I couldn't find it at any rate. I'll try and email it to you. I tried to attach it to this message but clicking 'upload' didnt work...this computer is temperamental at the best of times
Damon
 

Ken Marschall

Member
Jan 8, 2002
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Damon,

If you can find a Pantone color swatch book (used by many designers, etc....mine is dated 1996, but I think the colors are standard), the color of my small leather sample from underneath a purported Olympic 1st-class dining chair is as follows:

Using the "coated" book, it's an approx. 50/50 blend of "5747C" and "Black 3C".

None of the "uncoated" samples are anywhere near dark enough, but the leather finish is more glossy than dull, anyway.

As you pointed out, the surface is mottled with a little miniature bumpy or "aligator-like" texture.

Ken
 

Damon Hill

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Jun 13, 2004
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Thankyou for that Ken. Next time I see my friend I will ask him about his Pantone swatch and have a look at those colours. Incidentally Ken, whilst we are on the subject of colours in the Smoking Room, what is the likely colour of the table tops in that room? If only they had colour photos back then..... (Mind you, have the 'fun' of the Titanic...if one could use that word in relation to Titanic, is not knowing all the answers!)
 

Ken Marschall

Member
Jan 8, 2002
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I believe the tables were covered with the typical green felt for card playing, but I haven't made a study of it.

"If only they had colour photos back then..."

Oh, they did. Through a tricky and time-consuming method. A tripod-mounted camera was locked down securely, and three exposures were made on B&W film (glass plates), each with a different-colored filter in front of the lens -- deep red, deep blue and deep yellow. The resulting three images could then be transferred to three printing plates, and each of these plates printed over each other using their respective colored inks.

This was done fairly often back then for color magazine covers, art prints, advertisements, still lives and such, so long as there was no movement during the laborious three-step process.

An spectacular series of full-color photos, done in this manner, was taken inside one of the c.1900 German liners, and post cards were printed (see Jack Shaum's book "Majesty At Sea"). This was years before Olympic and Titanic.

You never know... One day a similar series of B&W glass plates may turn up for Olympic or Titanic. New things continue to be discovered for these ships. It won't end in our lifetimes.

Ken
 
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Brian R Peterson

Guest
Ah yes, the Autochrome Lumière plates - the technology was available as early as 1907 and if an Autochrome is well made, color values can be very good, as seen in this 1917 Autochrome I have in my collection:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b184/Hangman_Heydrich/800px-Nieuport.jpg

Unfortunately, the dyed starch grains are often somewhat coarse, giving a hazy effect with stray colors often appearing, especially in open light areas like skies.

Nonetheless, this "dream-like", impressionist quality was a major reason behind the enduring popularity of the medium over a thirty-year period.

Although difficult to manufacture and relatively expensive, autochomes were relatively easy to use and were immensely popular amongst enthusiastic amateur photographers.

However, they failed to sustain the initial interest of more serious "artistic" practitioners, largely due to their inflexibility.

Not only did the need for diascopes and projectors make them extremely difficult to publicly exhibit.

Nevertheless, it is entirely possible that one or more photographers took Autochromes of the Olympic and possibly even the Titanic, that as Ken states have yet to be found - and if such a find is made, it would the Holy Grail of Titanica....

Coincidentally, here are the Autochromes of the interiors of the German liners, also from my collection:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b184/Hangman_Heydrich/decadent5.jpg

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b184/Hangman_Heydrich/decadent4.jpg

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b184/Hangman_Heydrich/decadent3.jpg

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b184/Hangman_Heydrich/decadent1.jpg

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b184/Hangman_Heydrich/decadant2.jpg

Best Regards,

Brian
 
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Alexander John Cooley

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I would have to say that the olympic class liners were elegant. The German liners were Elaborate, And the Cunard ships were very Technicolorful.
 

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