The Resolute Desk was built from the scrap…

The Resolute Desk was built from the scrap of the HMS Resolute. It has been used by most Presidents since 1880.

The UK had the desk built from the timbers of the Resolute was because the Resolute had been gifted to the UK by the people of the United States.

The Resolute was a polar exploration vessel that became ice-locked and was abandoned by its crew. It was salvaged by Americans. Under international maritime law, that meant it belonged to those Americans. But the US government purchased it, repaired and refitted it, and sent it back to the UK as a gift.

So when it was broken up years latter, the desk was made and sent to the US as a reciprocal gesture.