AN HISTORICALLY INTERESTING ARCHIVE OF SWAN...
Sold for £11,160
Estimated at £10,000 - £15,000
(Please note the sold price includes buyer's premium at 24%)
AN HISTORICALLY INTERESTING ARCHIVE OF SWAN HUNTER PLANS AND EPHEMERA OF R.M.S. MAURETANIA, CIRCA 1905-08
including fourteen rolled mostly hand-tinted linen-backed plans with yard stamps for 1908 and comprising: three rigging plans; two sectional plans; six deck plans for decks A-F inclusive; promenade deck; general arrangement decks A-C and D-F, the largest -- 36 x 98½in. (92 x 250cm.); together with a further three carbon paper copies of the general arrangement; a contract: Agreement for Building a Steamship, dated 18th May, 1905, 19 pages, signed and sealed by Directors of Cunard and Swan Hunter; a signed specification for Steamer No.735 also dated 18th May, 1905; a leather-bound copy of the specification dated 20th May, 1905; and a typed document entitled Case for the Opinion of Counsel dated 24th June, 1907, comprising ten pages and dealing with overruns in costs versus builders' estimates and which side liability might lie with.
Provenance: Norman Gilchrist, OBE and thence by descent.
This remarkable archive only survives by the chance intervention of Norman Gilchrist. Having joined Swan Hunter as an apprentice shipwright during World War II, he became a draftsman with the company. Rising through the ranks, his last position before he retired in 1985 was project manager for the construction of H.M.S. Ark Royal. The Walker Naval Yard was wound down from the late 1970s and the drawing office became used as a store for plans and models in preparation for the pending closure. When it came, the entire contents were thrown out wholesale, but Mr Gilchrist had the foresight to save this group, unwilling to see such history destroyed. Permission was gladly given by George Murray, the site director - and one plan even has a dedication to that effect on the reverse.