MAURETANIA CRUISING LIVERY


Apr 23, 2002
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When Mauretania was painted white in 1931, did the red bilge area that can be seen just above the surface of the water (and below) remain red or was it green??
Chas Pears' picture depicts it as red, yet others depict it as green?
 

Brent Holt

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Jun 23, 2002
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Actually, the Mauretania was painted white in 1933.
I assume the area you spoke of stayed red, but I am not sure.
Brent
 

Bill Sauder

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Nov 14, 2000
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Greg:

Then only place I am aware of a green underbody for the Mauretania is from a 1907 builder's model that was given to FDR and later the Smithsonian institution (and lent later still to the Queen Mary museum)

The 1907 colors were standard black and red for the hull, but sometime later in the model's history, it was painted white and green. The white/green paint job is very, very amateur -- applied so thick it blots out shell doors, hinges, coal ports and other details.

I am unaware of antifouling paint of the period being anything other than red or black (used in some war ships) I assume the green color was artistic license.

The hazard with the Pears painting is that I don't know if he painted from life, or more likely, from a b&w photo and assumed the underbody was red.

Bill Sauder
 

Eric Longo

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Aug 13, 2004
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Hi All,

The 18 foot model of the Mauretania in cruising livery, mentioned above, is now back on display at the Smithsonian. This model, said to be carved from a single block of mahogany, was presented by Bob Blake to F.D.R. who in turn gave it to the Smithsonian on July 2, 1935 along with a letter, over 100 photographs and a brass lamp said to be from her "main lobby."
The information at the Smithsonian website is a little off though. She was not launched in 1907, her fastest crossing was not in June 1909 and she was not converted to oil in 1919. However, it is correct in that the first of her two dazzle schemes was applied after her hospital service.
Does anyone have any substantiation with regard to the green boot-topping? The topic has come up here and there, but there seems to be no actual evidence of this I can locate. Any further information would be appreciated.

Best wishes,
Eric
 

Bill Sauder

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Nov 14, 2000
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Eric,

Two additional thoughts since that last post of mine in 2002:

When I was in charge of the Museum on the Queen Mary and had custody of the model, the staff was of the understanding that the Mauretania hull was of hollow construction and the Bassett Lowke QM Model was solid wood (built up of laminations).

For what it's worth, I looked carefully for years (1975-1985)for signs of de-gluing at places where seams were likely (It always seemed likely that the counter, deadwood, and bossings were solid) but never saw any, making me suspect that the Mauretania too was a laminated solid.

As I mentioned in another post, having custody and having control were two different things, and I never got the opportunity to take the glass off the case and touch the model to find out.

As for the green boot toping: I recall that anti-fouling paints got "creative" in the 1960s along with everything else, so a green formulation is not technically impossible. I also recall that the "sporty" color was only within a few feet of the water line, and the rest of the underbody painted the conventional color, no doubt as an economy move.
 

Eric Longo

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Aug 13, 2004
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Hi Bill,

Many thanks for the additional information. I appreciate you expertise and time in responding
happy.gif


Best wishes,
Eric
 

Eric Longo

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Aug 13, 2004
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Hi Bill,

I was steered to a May 17, 1933 New York Times article that states "The bottom of the hull up to the waterline will be green, the funnels and ventilator openings red and the deck heads pale green."

Best,
Eric
 

Bill Sauder

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Nov 14, 2000
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Well now, that pretty much settles it. Green it is.

At the end of her career, the Queen Mary had her "pale green" phase for her deckhouses: the enclosed promenades were also painted a light green.

Thanks for posting and relaying a specific source and date for the article.
 

Eric Longo

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Aug 13, 2004
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Hi Bill,

You are welcome. I was also very pleased to finally see some substantiation of this sometime mentioned but never back-up notion.

Best wishes,
Eric
 

Eric Longo

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Aug 13, 2004
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Hi Greg,

Yes, it does. I have a rather complete collection of Mauretania cigarette cards including this 1937 Churchman cigarette card. The problem with relying on anything like this or a postcard for color accuracy is that any rendering could be wrong. Look at some of the funnel colors on these cards. I could argue the Pears painting at the Forth Bridge shops her with red for example. Or look at the depiction of at Cherbourg. The Mauretania's aft deck houses are incorrect. There is a lot of artistic license there as well if memory serves and that was structural, not even color.

Best,
Eric
 

Eric Longo

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Aug 13, 2004
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Hi there,

Pardon my error - "I could argue the Pears painting at the Forth Bridge shops her with red for example."

Shows, not shops
happy.gif


Best,
Eric
 

Eric Longo

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Aug 13, 2004
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Hi All,

Tomorrow, October 19, marks 77 years since the Mauretania opened the "New Docks" (Berths 101-108, later called the Western Docks). She would be painted into the cruise scheme discussed above the following May/June for her return to service. The docks were constructed on over 400 acres of reclaimed land with a quay some 7,500 feet long. The dock was completed about 2 years after being opened. This was where both the Mauretania and the Olympic were tied up when they were retired, trading berths along the quayside from April, 1935 until the Mauretania left for Rosyth three months later.

Best wishes,
Eric
 

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