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Ian Penfold

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I own a three-branch electrolier (chandelier) in the rococo style, which may have come from the liner Mauretania. The overall height is approx 30cm, and each branch is approx 15cm long. It is stamped with the RD NO 261, which corresponds to 1882 and may be a clue.

My late father, who died in 2004 aged 96, told me that his father bought it in London when the fixtures and fittings from Mauretania were auctioned. I have explored many blind avenues in an effort to confirm this, including the National Maritime Museum, the Ocean-Liner Society, Liverpool University, and Cobwebs Ocean Liner Memorabilia at Southampton. I have also tried to look up the registered design number on the National Archives website but it appears necessary to make a personal visit to Kew.

Please can anyone more knowledgeable than me in such matters suggest how I may be able to confirm its provenance? I have attached a photograph.
chandelier1a.jpg
 

Eric Longo

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Aug 13, 2004
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Hi Ian,
While I have no idea if your item is indeed from Mauretania, I wonder if there is anything else connecting it to the ship besides the oral history? It has been remarked at ET that manufacturers sometimes offered the same fixtures to hotels and restaurants, often making it difficult to determine true origin. I will have a look in my photographs for such a fixture. I don't recognize it offhand.

Best,
Eric Longo
 

Bob Godfrey

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Most if not all of the ormoulu light fittings in the Mauretania were supplied by N Burt & Co (Wardour Street, London), and this item does look very typical of their products at that time. But the company supplied light fittings for many ships and possibly for other purposes also, so as Eric said it might be impossible to pin down its original usage even if it definitely came from a shipbreaker.
 

Eric Longo

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Hi again Ian,
For what it is worth, I've had a look through my photographs and albums and did not see any fixtures matching yours. I will keep looking. Can you provide anything about when it was purchased or where? Anything you were told about where it might have come from onboard?

Best,
Eric Longo

R.M.S. Mauretania: Farewell to the Tyne
 
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Kyle Johnstone

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Hello Keith,

Mauretania's voyages and cruises are listed in Humphry Jordan's book MAURETANIA
If you do not have a copy handy, what is it that you would like to know?
 

Eric Longo

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Dear Keith,

Kyle is correct - Mauretania's activities are detailed there. It is a wonderful book, as is In Great Waters by one of her last Commanders, S. G. S. McNeil. I too am curious what you are looking for.
I am also wondering if anyone knows what date(s) in June, 1933 could both Mauretania and Berengaria be seen in Ocean Dock?

Best,
Eric

R.M.S. Mauretania: Farewell to the Tyne
 

keith sanders

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Aug 17, 2006
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I am interested in Mauretania's schedule because my grandfather took her from New York to Le Havre (?) that summer. He was in college and played in a band on board. He played the clarinet in the first and second class lounges. I am trying to track down the dates of his voyages.
 
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Kyle Johnstone

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Hello Keith

Cool that Gramps played in a band on board.
Did he pass on any of his stories of life on board? Or perhaps some souviners of his?

Mauretania had a busy year in 1931
Ok, here goes...

Southampton to New York:
Feb. 4, Feb 25, March 28, April 18, May 9 May 30,
June 20, July 11, Aug. 1, Aug. 22, Sept. 12, Nov. 11

New York to Southampton:
Jan. 4, Feb. 14, March 6, April 8, April 29, May 20, June 10, June 27, July 22, Aug. 12, Sept. 2, Sept. 23

October would have been her annual overhaul. From Mid-Nov. through the end of the year Mauretania was cruising out of New York to the West Indies, departing on Nov. 18, Dec. 3, and Dec. 19.

I hope this helps, and maybe Eric can add some additional information or correct me where I'm wrong.
 

Peter Newall

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Aug 19, 2006
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Hello Ian,
I do not think your chandelier is from Mauretania. Most of the cut-glass electroliers in the first class public rooms were very fancy. Lighting was also provided from natural light and wall scones.

My new book, 'Mauretania Triumph and Resurrection' which deals with the history of the ship and what became of her interiors after the 1935 auction at Southampton will be out shortly.

Peter
 

keith sanders

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Here is a picture taken onboard Mauretania in September 1931. My grandfather is second from the right. Anyone recognize the deck?
113231.jpg
 
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Kyle Johnstone

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Hello, Keith

This may be a question that only Eric can answer with any certainty.
I looked at my fairly detailed photos of the large models I have seen displayed, and I cannot find that skinny 5ft. tall funnel that these chaps are standing next to.
I can't tell from the photo if they are against an aft rail, or portside or starboard. There are no funnels in the shot, so the shot is certainly not looking forward. Something Eric may be able to tell.

As you have a family connection to Mauretania, and you seem interested, I recommend that you look into the books MAURETANIA by Humphry Jordan and RMS MAURETANIA The Ship and Her Record by Gerald Aylmer. And, if you are into spending a little money and have the perseverence to find one, a copy of "Souviner Number of THE SHIPBUILDER" for the Mauretania, which is a brilliant source of information for her engineering and decoration, first published upon her early days in service in 1907. Good sources are abebooks.com and alibris.com, and of course ebay.com
Original copies and reprints of all three are out there somewhere.
Eric earlier mentioned the biography of one of her last masters, In Great Waters, which is very good for a first-person look at life on Mauretania.
 

Peter Newall

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Aug 19, 2006
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Hello Keith,
This photo does not appear to have been taken on Mauretania as the ventilator is too small. All Mauretania's ventilators were large.
Peter
 
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Kyle Johnstone

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Well, that would explain why the museum models and on QE2 don't have any ventilators that small.

Oh, and excuse my typo, I meant to say 5ft ventilator instead of funnel ;0
 

Eric Longo

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Hi All,

Keith, as you already know, your lovely photo was certainly taken aboard R.M.S. Mauretania.

"There are no funnels in the shot, so the shot is certainly not looking forward."

Right, Kyle - so it is looking aft - from amidships, atop what was the Second Class Lounge - looking out over what would eventually become the "Sports Deck" and across to the aft Docking Bridge, which is visible as well as two Cunard life rings (either side of the group) that help to orient you. There is also some large deck machinery visible just behind and below the man second from left that indicates where this was taken. The bench helps. That little ventilator had been there since construction.

Best,
Eric Longo

R.M.S. Mauretania: Farewell to the Tyne
 

Lucy Burkhill

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Mar 31, 2006
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Hi Peter,

I'm a Mauretania fan and have always wondered about the whereabouts of her beautiful interiors after they were auctioned off in 1935. I know about the 1st class lounge panelling in the Bristol pub, but am curious about other fittings. Your book sounds a must-have for Maury fans.
happy.gif
Where will it likely be available from- Amazon???

Regards,
Lucy
 

Peter Newall

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Aug 19, 2006
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Hello Lucy,
I hope you will not be disappointed. I have covered not only the history of the ship, using official documents, but also a full tour of her interiors plus the whereabouts of the various bits and pieces from her wheel to the paintings in the First Class Smoke Room. I have been given unrestricted access to the various sites and friends and colleagues have provided some fabulous photos of the ship. It has been a joy of a project and I hope that will show in the end result.

It will be published in England (where I live) by the same publishers who produced my last book on the history of Orient Line. I will let you know further details as soon as it has comes off the press.

Best wishes,
Peter
 

Eric Longo

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Aug 13, 2004
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Hi Keith,

I thought you might like to see the location of your photograph - the small ventilator is marked by the black arrow on the photo in the first link below. This photo, of her Sports Deck, is from a 1934 Sea Breeze Cruise color deck plan detailing her final cruises - the image itself dates to 1933.

I am sure I have candids of this location - I'd have to dig them out - but this gives you an idea of where your grandfather was standing when his photograph was taken. As seen here, looking forward, his back would be to you. I misspoke myself earlier - not amidships, but along the center line.

Kyle mentioned two great books - in fact, I have an original Aylmer signed by the author in 1934 - but there is a reissued version from 2000/2001 by J. McCutcheon and published by Tempus that is profusely illustrated - several unique onboard candids from my collection can be seen there.

Best,
Eric Longo

Location of Keith's photograph

R.M.S. Mauretania: Farewell to the Tyne
 
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