A scarce oak revolving bookcase of large proportions by Goodall, Lamb & Heighway of Manchester, made of timbers recovered from Admiral Lord Nelson's flagship 'HMS Foudroyant', c.1900.
The top of the bookcase bears a copper plaque which reads, '
THIS BOOKCASE IS MADE FROM THE OAK & PINE SALVED FROM THE "FOUDROYANT" NELSON'S FLAGSHIP OF WHICH THIS DISC OF COPPER FORMED A PART. MADE BY GOODALL, LAMB AND HEIGHWAY LTD, MANCHESTER.'
HMS Foudroyant was an 80-gun third rate of he Royal Navy, one of only two British-built 80-gun ships of the period (the other being HMS Caesar). Foudroyant was built in the dockyard at Plymouth dock and launched on 31 March 1798. Foudroyant served as Nelson's flagship from 6 June 1799 until end of June 1801.
In June 1897 Foudroyant was towed to Blackpool and could be visited for a small entrance fee. On 16 June 1897 during a violent storm, she parted a cable and dragging the remaining anchor, went ashore on Blackpool Sands, damaging Blackpool North Pier in the process. The Blackpool lifeboat was able to rescue all 27 of her crew.
After vain attempts to refloat her, her guns were removed and she was sold for £200. She finally broke up in the December gales. Craftsmen used flotsam from the wreck to make furniture, and, between 1929 and 2003, the wall panelling of the boardroom of Blackpool F.C.'s Bloomfield Road ground. The ship's bell now resides in Blackpool Town Hall. Copper, salvaged from the wreck, was used to manufacture Medals, which were sold to the general public.
A catalogue produced at the end of the 19th century titled ‘Momentoes of Nelson and His Times’ (undated), offered articles made by Goodall, Lamb & Heighway from timber salvaged from the ‘Foudroyant’, Nelson’s old flagship.
This revolving bookcase is a known article made by Goodall, Lamb and & Heighway with examples having been sold at Christies, but they are scarcely seen on the market and often in poor condition when seen.
This example is in an exceptional condition throughout. There is a small split to the right hand side of the top due to the placement of the timber cut when making the piece (there is an absence of original timber pegs to that side). The split follows the timbers and remains structurally sound, not moving at all when pressure is applied. The bookcase rotates flawlessly, retains all four original wooden castors (which are fully functional), and
the original copper plaque is untouched. The oak throughout is of a stunning colour with the original pegged construction of the Foudroyant's timbers clearly visible.
A very special piece.
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