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White Star Line 2

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RMS Titanic Exhibition - Franklin Institute

WSL "Gothic Arch" or "Mitre" Fruit Bowl - c1910.
wslgothicbowl.jpg
9.5" across, 7.5" wide and 2" deep.

Close-up - Exterior pattern
wslgothicarchpattern.jpg

    
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
    
 
 
    
    
    
     Above is a battered, yet beautiful example of White Star Line china. This rare First Class "Gothic Arch" or "Crown" Fruit Bowl c1910 exhibits the pattern on both sides with a gold rim. Unfortunately, the previous owner apparently was not fond of the White Star Line emblem on the base of the bowl and took a knife to it, erasing nearly all of it. From the main view, you can barely see the outline of the pattern. At certain angles, you can still see faintly some of the red paint used for the flag. (Above Left) On a positive note, the transfer pattern of the logo is intact. (Photo Below)
 
   For all your informational needs on White Star Line china, please visit http://titanic.marconigraph.com/mgy_china.html. This comprehensive site details the most basic patterns of the company up to the very rare Cobalt Spode R4331 and R4332 china. Another website well known for its patterns is: www.cabinclass.com. You can access WSL through the patterns link at the bottom of the page. Much of the materials given here stems from "Restaurant China, Vols. 1 and 2." by Barbara Conroy.

Partial view of initial transferware WSL logo.
scratchwslmark.jpg
While the color has been removed, the entire logo can be seen if held at an angle.

WSL Letter Written Onboard the RMS Megantic
meganticletter.jpg
Dated July 7th, 1925

RMS Titanic & Olympic Turkish Bath Tile Fragment
titanictilepiece.jpg
Tile fragment with one of the full size reproduction tiles.

RMS Titanic Cooling Room
parkscoolingroom.jpg
Courtesy of Parks Stephenson @ http://titanic.marconigraph.com/cgi_lmot2.html

     While we usually do not go for the proverbial "teeny tiny" pieces of artifacts floating around in today's market, this one was an exception because of how interesting it is, even if it is not exact.
     Displayed above is a 1" by 1" fragment of a 6" Pilkington Persian-style designed by John Chambers for use onboard the Turkish Bath Cooling Rooms of the RMS Titanic and RMS Olympic in 1911. Parks Stephenson is a well-known historian on the interior of these rooms and has worked with Ken Marschall on the above computer rendering. When asked about these tiles in 2007, Mr. Stephenson gave the following answer on Encyclopedia Titanica:
 
     Pilkington did indeed design the tiles used in Titanic's Turkish Bath and the example above is consistent with the pattern seen inside the wreck. The only difference are the colours used...this same pattern was used in many applications, with variations in colour schemes used to make each one unique. The colour scheme in the example above is close to, but not an exact reproduction of, the scheme that I personally observed in Titanic's Cooling Room.

When I first attempted to re-create the tiles for use in my CG model of the Cooling Room, I used a colour scheme very similar to what is shown here. It matched a 1911 artist's rendering of the room and the Shipbuilder description. However, when we actually had a look at the actual tiles inside the Titanic wreck, we found that there was less green in the scheme. At first, I attributed this to fading after years underwater, but other green tiles -- vibrant in colour -- used in the tile borders argued against this assumption. I concluded that the difference between what we assumed for Olympic and observed in Titanic can be attributed to the fact that each set of tiles were hand-painted and therefore included some variation.

The example provided above does not constitute a complete pattern; therefore, the repetition of any one tile does not produce the overall pattern. When I was building my CG Cooling Room model, I found that no one single tile could be repeated over and over again to create the overall design. As was pointed out above, the tile work was custom-made for each application. Titanic's tile work -- in both colour scheme and manner in which the tiles were cut across the pattern -- was therefore similar to, but not an exact copy of, Olympic's.

The tile pattern that can be seen in the renders from my CG model on my website represents my second attempt at capturing the correct colour scheme. It is not correct. I have yet to run a render of the CG model with the observed (re: correct) colour scheme.
 
- Parks.
 
     Information that came with the piece on its history is as follows. The previous owner, Margaret Moir, had posession of one tile as she collected Pilkington Pottery and she served on the Committee of the Piklington Society. Also on this committee was Anthony Cross - reportedly THE expert on Pilkington. Margaret had planned to sell the tile and he told her of their history and use onboard the great WSL liner's Turkish Baths. He had discussed the matter with marine archaeologists and confirmed similar tiles found within the wreck. The tile ended up in Austrialia where it was cut in half. The first half remains as such and the other was sadly cut up into 18 pieces to be sold for a fraction of what they would have been worth complete. All of the available information was forwarded to us once the tile fragment switched ownership. Still, it is a beautiful fragment of what the interiors of these liners looked like and still look like after being submerged for nearly 100 years in the darkness of the Atlantic.

A complete pattern cycle from the "Persian" tiles.
tilepattern.jpg
Made utilizing 4 full-size reproduction tiles in this pattern.

Original piece of tile from the RMS Corinthic
tilepattern5.jpg
Original pattern of the tile, we have a 1"x1" brown square tile from the bottom of the pattern.