First Class Staterooms

C-62: Louis XIV Room

Stateroom C-62 served as the Sitting Room for the Port Side Parlour Suite on Shelter Deck C.




As described by the Shipbuilder: "The most expensive accomodation is provided by parlour suites, of which there are four, adjoining the forward grand entrance, one on each side of the ship on B and C decks respectively... Each parlour suite consists of one sitting room, two bedrooms, two wardrobe rooms and a private bath and lavatory."

To illustrate how expensive this suite would have been when the Olympic was new in 1911-12 we can look at the equivalent suites on her ill-fated sister.

 The Parlour suite on the port side of the Titanic's 'C' deck is believed to have been occupied by John Jacob Astor IV, one of the most famous and wealthiest Titanic passengers and his teenage bride, while the starboard 'C' Deck suite (with its sitting room in the Regency style) was occupied by Isidor and Ida Strauss:  famous for their ownership of Macy's and Mrs Strauss's refusal to leave her husband during the sinking. Mrs Strauss's heroism and devotion is part of the Titanic legend.

According to White Star Line records of the Titanic's ticket sales: the Astors paid £247 10s 6d for the port side suite and the Strausses £221 15s 7d for the starboard side suite. Adjusted for inflation, these respective amounts would have the spending power of £23,000 and £20,500 a century later.

Mark Chirnside has kindly provided two American price schedules from the Olympic from 1913 and 1930 which show that an April crossing in this suite
cost $1575 for two people in 1913 and $1102 for two people in 1930.

 
 
The Panelling at the Marquis of Granby Hotel

The panelling from the Louis XIV room was purchased by Colonel Hutton after the conclusion of the dispersal auction in 1935. It is interesting to note that the catalogue does not appear to have a lot for the furniture from this room. It may be that it was sold in Southampton before the Olympic departed on her final voyage to Jarrow.

In any event, Colonel Hutton decided to use the panelling from C-62 to cover the eastern side of his hotel's dining room. I was fortunate enough to stay at the hotel in March 2000, only a few days before the dining room was stripped of its Olympic fittings for sale by Henry Aldridge & Son at the 2000 British Titanic Society convention.

Below are some photos of the panelling while at Marquis of Granby taken by me, Peter Mitchell and the late Steve Rigby.
Above the carved faces are rays of sun, designed to emulate the personal emblem of Louis XIV: "
Le Roi-Soleil
".

       

Note in the middle photo above, the panel of electric switches which can be seen in the Harland & Wolff photo at the top of the page.

The diamond shaped blocks of wood were used to cover the holes that marked where the wall lights were.

       

The panelling retained some of the features that were included for the comfort of passengers. On the left is a bell press to summon a steward and on the right is a close up of an electrical panel containing two power outlets and the switch that would have operated the chandelier in the ceiling or the wall lights.

         

Close ups of the woodwork reveal how intricate the handcrafted woodwork was for this room. After all, as part of the most expensive accomodation on the Olympic, the wealthy passengers occupying the suite would have expected nothing less than the best!

          



 


The Sale of the Panelling at the 2000 British Titanic Society Convention


Following the removal of the panels from the Marquis of Granby Hotel, their home of sixty-four years, they were transported to Southampton for sale at auction.
Henry Aldridge and Son decided to sell the panelling for this stateroom and for C-86 as seventy-three individual lots.

Below are some photos I took while they were on display before the auction on 14 April 2000.






The Markings

The auction provided the opportunity to see what was written on the backs of the panels for the first time since 1935.
They showed that the room was referred to as "Sitting Room No. 3" by the Harland & Wolff workforce.

The markings pin pointed exactly where they had been positioned in the original room on the Olympic.








The Doors

The Door that led from the Sitting Room to the corridor of C-Deck was sandwiched together with the other door that led to C-64 in the Marquis of Granby's lobby.
The outline of number plate that would have displayed the Stateroom number, can still be seen at the top of the corridor side of the door.

The second Louis XIV style door that was installed in the lobby is in the photograph on the right. The other side of it is in the Adam style because it was the connecting door with the first bedroom of the suite: Stateroom C-64.


      e

Thanks to
Dr Damian Gardner-Thorpe for supplying the photo of the door that led to the suite's bedroom.

 Please get in touch if you have photos of any artefact from the Olympic while it was at
the Marquis of Granby Hotel in Bamford, Derbyshire between 1935 and 2000.








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