The desk in the oval office upon which American Presidents have led and labored since President Hayes in 1880 is a gift of the British people, more specifically from Queen Victoria, fashioned from the timbers of HMS Resolute.
HMS Resolute was one of four Royal Navy ships under the command of Sir Edward Belcher that patrolled the arctic in the early 1850's in search of the lost expedition of Sir John Franklin. Resolute became engulfed in ice and after one year of trying to free the ship, it was abandoned by its crew who walked to other ships outside the ice to sail back to England.
Resolute broke itself free of the ice and was set adrift the following summer. It was found by an American fishing vessel under the command of James Buddington and towed back to port. Congress appropriated the ship and spent $40,000 to refurbish it and had it returned to England to be presented to Queen Victoria as a sign of good will between our countries.
Resolute entered back into Royal Navy service until its retirement, at which time Queen Victoria ordered its timbers to be used in part to construct the current Oval Office desk as a gift to the American people and another writing desk for her use at Buckingham Palace.
In the words of Paul Harvey, "Now you know the rest of the story."
Sir Hook the Resolute of Warrick