One-of-a-kind Clydebank-built Chief Engineer's Desk
From RMS TRANSVAAL CASTLE.
Solid John Brown Wooden Construction
Classic Joinery and Craftsmanship
60 Inches Long
30 Inches Deep
30.5 Inches Tall
(Including 4.5 Inch Center Pedestal)
At least one region of the ship was left unchanged from when she was built in 1961 by John Brown and Company of Clydebank as the TRANSVAAL CASTLE all the way until her beaching in India as BIG BOAT. The officer's quarters had almost all original wood furnishings (although some well-worn Carnival fixtures did show up here and there after various refits displaced them from the passenger spaces).
This important desk has a rich reddish wood veneer (cherry or rosewood?) a red hyde top, original Union-Castle drawer handles, and, in lieu of the typical center drawer, a wooden tray that slides out, presumably to hold folded documents such as plans. The joinery is that magical tongue in groove that went back to early 20th century British tradition. The left side of the desk is unfinished and was apparently fixed to a bulkhead. Interestingly, it has the ship's yard number written in bold letters. The pedestal it is standing on appears to be original, but may have been a Carnival addition. I am leaving it on and letting the next owner decide. I have not had a chance to do a concentrated clean up and polishing job on this wonderful desk. It is too large and has been kept buried in storage. The condition, however, is excellent. Some buffing and touch ups here and there, a new hyde or vinyl top, and it is ready to serve...
With the center leaf opened.
A closeup of the beautiful veneer and the UCL handles.
The joinery on one of the drawers.
The center support pedestal.
The underside of the top left drawer with the builder's notations.