BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 7 February 2008, 09:23 GMT
Warship table features in movie
 A desk made from the timbers  of Royal Navy warship HMS Resolute
The "Resolute desk" was a gift to an American president
A writing table made from the timbers of a 19th Century Royal Navy warship has a central role in a blockbuster film starring actor Nicholas Cage.

The writing table was made from HMS Resolute, which became trapped in Arctic ice in 1854.

It will be displayed in the Royal Naval Museum, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

A desk, also fashioned from the ship - which was commissioned by Queen Victoria - also appears in the film, "National Treasure: Book of Secrets".

The whole Resolute story is absolutely fascinating
Richard Noyce
Royal Naval Museum

Richard Noyce, curator of artefacts at the museum, said: "The plot of National Treasure sees Nicolas Cage discover vital clues in both the desk and the writing table.

"In fact, although it is shown as being in Buckingham Palace, the writing table has been on long-term loan to us from the Royal Collection and it is on display through February and March.

"The whole Resolute story is absolutely fascinating.

"Ironically, she was in the Arctic searching for survivors from Sir John Franklin's last ill-fated attempt to find the North-West passage when she herself became stuck in the ice and had to be abandoned.

American rescue

"She was found two years later having drifted some 1,200 miles - reports tell of how eerie it was to find her almost exactly as she had been the day she was abandoned - but with no men on board.

"And George W Bush sits at the Resolute desk as has virtually every president since 1879."

When the vessel came out of service and was broken up in 1879, the Queen ordered an ornate desk to be fashioned from its timbers.

The Resolute desk has graced the Oval Office in the White House in Washington since 1879 when Queen Victoria presented it to the then US President, Rutherford B Hayes, as a gesture of thanks.



SEE ALSO
Mary Rose given 21m cash boost
25 Jan 08 |  Hampshire

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific