This 15″ X 40″ fold-out cutaway is from a pre-maiden voyage publication of “The Illustrated London News”. It is an essential and most sought-after piece of memorabilia. It shows every deck of the Queen Mary with 2 legends indicating 203 points of interest aboard. “In the above illustration our artist shows the whole interior of this magnificent vessel, the latest triumph of British shipbuilding, which embodies nearly a century’s experience of the North Atlantic service and its needs.
Size, speed, dignity, stability – all these qualities are immediately suggested by her massive hull, clear-cut cruiser stern, and three shapely funnels. She is not only the greatest achievement in the history of shipbuilding, but marks a new era in ocean travel. Her passenger accommodation has been so planned as to give each class a degree of spaciousness, comfort and refinement never before attempted on so lavish a scale. The staterooms on the sun deck, “A” and “B” decks are a revelation of modern ship luxury.”
Before my mother passed away, I commissioned the Los Angeles-based artist Thom Bierdz to paint a cover for “The Travelers” before she passed. My initial publishing house was small and I paid for the art work myself. As can be seen in the above photos, Mr. Bierdz’s painting adorned the cover of the first publisher’s release. The original is also pictured shown displayed on my bedroom wall. The other photo is an actual photo of a corridor. My mother was delighted. He captured the incredible beauty of one of Queen Mary‘s First Class corridors. Over 700 feet long, the ends can not be seen.
When a bigger publisher, Champagne Book Group, contracted the “The Travelers” they made their own cover. While similar, I prefer Mr. Bierdz’s which is a work of art. I am not a soap opera watcher but he told me he was also known as the character Phillip Chancellor III on “The Young and the Restless”. He paints full time and acts occasionally. To see his paintings, go to http://www.thombierdz.com or call his gallery at (909) 436-9242. He can also be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss possible commissioned paintings. While I prefer his artistic approach and comprehensive capture of a corridor, the newest publisher insisted upon their own due to the nudity. But if “The Travelers” ever becomes a best-seller, I will insist that his painting be used.
Deck chairs like this example from my collection numbered in the hundreds aboard Queen Mary. Built of teak with brass hardware, they were impervious to the harsh conditions of the North Atlantic. As can be seen in one of the photos, each chair was “branded” Queen Mary on the reverse side of the headrest. While appearing uncomfortably angular and stiff, they are quite comfortable and designed to accommodate every bend and lift of the body. Passengers were assigned the wool blankets upon embarkation which accounts for the number beneath the embroidered “Cunard White Star”. The blankets were navy blue with a reverse of red and quite heavy. There are many pics of passengers wrapped on deck peacefully dozing, reading, or simply enjoying the endless view of the North Atlantic. For the maiden voyage, every deck chair on Promenade Deck was provided with a free copy of the newest bestseller “Gone With The Wind”. What this collector wouldn’t give for one of those copies designated “Courtesy of Cunard White Star” on the inside cover!