RMS Majestic 1st Class Accommodation Proof Plan
Size 32" x 29", this proof plan is extremely rare because it was printed before the ship had even been handed over to the White Star Line and around 3 months BEFORE her maiden voyage!
Condition is fair, with a few separations at seams and a couple of tears, but nothing is missing and conservators’ tape will help protect it from further deterioration.
RMS Majestic(2) was originally built as Bismarck by the Blohm & Voss shipbuilders in Hamburg, Germany. She was laid down in 1913 and launched on 20 June 1914 by Countess Hanna von Bismarck, the granddaughter of the 19th century German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck.
After launch, fitting out of Bismarck proceeded until the start of the First World War in August 1914, when it slowed and substantive work on the vessel stopped altogether. After being ceded to Britain under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, the as-yet uncompleted ship was purchased jointly by the White Star and Cunard Lines, together with Imperator. Construction of the ship resumed after the end of World War 1. Majestic was ostensibly a replacement for the pre-war 48,000-ton Olympic-class ocean liner Britannic which was lost after hitting a mine in the Aegean in 1916, while the Imperator went to Cunard and became the RMS Berengaria, a replacement for the Lusitania which had been sunk by a German U-boat in 1915. On 5 October 1920, the as-yet uncompleted Bismarck was gutted by fire while fitting out at the shipyard and badly damaged. At the time of the fire substantial progress had been made on the vessel and sabotage by shipyard workers was suspected.
After Bismarck was handed to the White Star Line, a team of engineers were sent by Harland and Wolff, White Star's shipbuilders, to supervise completion of the vessel and gather experience on her operation. In March 1922, Commodore Bertram Hayes and a number of officers were ordered to Hamburg to take command of the vessel prior to handover.
Majestic was placed on the North Atlantic run from Southampton to New York in tandem with Olympic and Homeric. She sailed on her maiden voyage from Southampton on Wednesday, 11th May 1922 at 11.30 am under the command of Sir Bertram Hayes.