Titanic Gazette Souvenir Shop

Titanic Gazette Souvenir Shop

Titanic Gazette Souvenir Shop

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Titanic Coins

Here is a 1912 penny. Although there were no commemoration coins from 1912 to the Titanic, they are still placed with pictures and have a sort of connections to the Titanic.

This is a commemorative coin from the Caicos Islands and is worth 20 crowns. It is from 1998 and has Queen Elizabeth II.

This coin was from the Gilbert Islands near Australia. It is minted in 1998, and it is quite beautiful.

This coin is a Canadian Maple Leaf, and is made up of .9999 in silver. It is from 1998 and is worth 5 dollars there. The Titanic is located just beneath the Maple Leaf, and the estimates of coins minted, are about 26,000.

This one is less popular since it just recently came out, in 2005. It is from Liberia, and is to commemorate the 2000 expedition. It is worth 10 dollars there, and has a lion on the back. Inaccurately depicted, is the hole made by the iceberg looking like a gash not realizing that the hole(s) made by the iceberg never came out of the water, and that there were many holes along the side.

The coin above is from Somalia, and is quite collectible. It is made up of .999 silver, and is worth 5 dollars. They were only produced in 1998. Only 200 were produced in silver, and there are more that are made up of gold/bronze and cupro/nickel. The Somalia is the most famous and distributed Titanic coin today.

(Although I wish I do, I don't have any of these coins. I am a coin collector, and thought that this might interest those such as I who like coins and the Titanic. You can buy these on places like ebay.)

Titanic's Fate Up to Virginia Judge

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Nearly a century after the Titanic struck ice in the North Atlantic, a federal judge in Virginia is poised to preserve the largest collection of artifacts from the opulent oceanliner and protect the ship's resting place.

U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith, a maritime jurist who considers the wreck an "international treasure," is expected to rule within weeks that the salvaged items must remain together and accessible to the public. That would ensure the 5,900 pieces of china, ship fittings and personal belongings won't end up in a collector's hands or in a London auction house, where some Titanic artifacts have landed.

The judgment could also end the legal tussle that began when a team of deep-sea explorers found the world's most famous shipwreck in 1985.

The salvage company, RMS Titanic Inc., wants the court to grant it limited ownership of the artifacts.

At the same time, a cadre of government lawyers is helping Smith shape covenants to strictly monitor future activity at the Titanic wreck 2 1/2 miles beneath the surface of the Atlantic. Amid evidence of the ship's deterioration, experts and government lawyers say the sanctity of the Titanic must be properly protected as a memorial to the 1,522 people who died when it went down.

"For the most part, the value of Titanic is its history — and not from some pile of gold, silver and jewels," said Ole Varmer, an attorney in the international law office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, whose office has developed guidelines for the Titanic.

Because the Titanic sank in international waters on April 15, 1912, and the ship's owners are long gone, the wreck site and its artifacts have been subject to competing legal claims since an international team led by oceanographer Robert Ballard found it 24 years ago. The courtroom survivor is RMS Titanic Inc., also known as RMST, which gathered the artifacts during six dives. Courts have declared it salvor-in-possession — meaning it has exclusive rights to salvage the Titanic — but have explicitly stated it does not own the 5,900 artifacts or the wreck itself.

RMST is a subsidiary of Premier Exhibitions Inc., an Atlanta company that bills itself as "a major provider of museum-quality touring exhibitions." Its offerings include sports memorabilia, a traveling Star Trek homage and "Bodies," an anatomy exhibit featuring preserved human cadavers.

RMST conducts traveling displays of the Titanic artifacts, which the company says have been viewed by 33 million people worldwide.

Last month, RMST underwent a shakeup of its board and saw its director resign over the company's poor financial performance, according to Premier Exhibitions filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and statements by dissident shareholders. Smith had expressed concerns before the board shakeup about RMST's ability to continue properly managing the collection, considering the company's financial situation.

No one familiar with the case or the artifacts has questioned RMST's handling of them.

RMST is seeking limited ownership of the artifacts as compensation for its salvage efforts. In its court filing for a salvage award, the company put the fair market value of the collection at $110.9 million. The same filing states that RMST's costs associated with the recovery and conservation of the artifacts have exceeded revenues from their display.

If the court agrees to RMST's request, the company could sell the entire collection to a museum with court approval.

Robert W. McFarland, an attorney for RMST, declined to comment before Smith rules.

Smith is drawing upon the State Department and NOAA to help craft the covenants to keep the artifacts preserved, intact as a collection and available to the public, and to guide future salvage operations at the Titanic wreck by RMST. At a hearing in November, the no-nonsense judge made clear the stakes.

"I am concerned that the Titanic is not only a national treasure, but in its own way an international treasure, and it needs protection and it needs to be monitored," the judge told lawyers in the case.

Congress has expressed its interest in preserving the Titanic as a memorial. U.S. lawmakers have not, however, implemented an agreement with the United Kingdom, which has already embraced a ban on unregulated salvage of the wreck.

J. Ashley Roach, a retired State Department lawyer who worked on the Titanic case, said the Titanic is the first major shipwreck in international waters to receive such close scrutiny.

"You have a domestic court and now the branches of government working together to make sure the wreck itself continues to be available in the future for the public good," he said.

International protections have been sought for the Titanic almost since the wreck was discovered. Ballard, who led the team that found the ship, told a congressional hearing in October 1985:

"Titanic is like a great pyramid which has been found and mankind is about to enter it for the first time since it was sealed. Has he come to plunder or appreciate? The people of the world clearly want the latter."

(This article is from Associated Press)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Titanic Barber Shop

The Barber Shop was used not only for cutting hair, but for souvenirs too. There was one for 2nd class(located on E-Deck), and 1st class (located on C-Deck) too. It also served as a sort of lounge for the maids and valets brought by the passengers. The 3rd class passengers had to make due and either have a haircut before, or after the voyage. The Barber Shops for 1st class and 2nd class were small. They had a bench on one side, and chairs on the other. The benches were used for waiting while the chairs were used for cutting hair. The souvenirs were hanging from the ceiling, or on the walls. They sold penknives, banners, dolls, hats, tobacco, ribbons with RMS Titanic embroidered on it, and other things like that. The photograph above is from the Titanic's almost identical sister ship, Olympic. The barbers were Arthur White(formerly the J.P. Morgan's private barber who owned of White Star Line) in 2nd class and Charles Weikman in 1st class. Nothing is known about what happened to either of the Barber Shops during or after the sinking. No one has visited them yet. The Barber Shop in 1st class is accessible, with it being just off the Grand Staircase. The one in 2nd class, was in the stern. As far as I can tell, it might be still standing but it is more than likely inaccessible. There may be a souvenirs that were carried off by the passengers into the lifeboats from the Barber Shop, but I'm not aware of any.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Straus Suite

Click HERE to tour the Rose Suite from Cameron's movie. The Straus Sitting Room and one of the bedrooms looks a lot like the photos above (the photo of the bedroom is an example of what 1st Class cabins looked like on the ship and is not known if this is actually what the Straus Suite bedroom looked like).

Click HERE to see the Strauss Suite (James Cameron used some things from the Straus Suite in Rose's Suite).

The Straus suite was the most opulent suite on the ship. It was one of 4 Parlor Suites which included one bedroom, a sitting room, two wardrobes, one bathroom, and 1 fireplace. The cabins were C-55 and C-57. The sitting room (C-55) was of the Regency Decor, and had the fireplace. The panels were deep and rich in color, with 24 carat gold gilt all around. It was certainly one of the most beautiful rooms on the ship. The bedroom (C-57) was Empire Style. We know that the room survived the sinking intact, but not intact anymore. In 2006, James Cameron went into the Straus suite. He had a hard time getting to it, but he found the dark wood still there along with gilt inlays, the fireplace, and the clock still sitting upright on the mantle. However, the bedrooms have collapsed and there's no getting to them.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Most Expensive Titanic Letter Ever Sold At Auction

NEW YORK, NY, USA -- A letter, dated April 10, 1912, from a first class passenger onboard the Titanic (written by passenger George Graham of Harriston of Canada, a sales manager for the Eaton's department store company, to a business colleague in Berlin, Germany) was sold at auction by Spink Smythe in New York City for $16,100-setting the world record for the Most expensive letter from Titanic.

George Graham wrote: "I am sorry that I neglected to send you a wire on the first of April but I forgot all about it until Tuesday, you see.
I arrived in London Late Sunday and I was very busy all day Monday and I forgot all about it however, I hope that you will accept my good wishes now even if they are a bit late.
I hope to see you next year and that you and your good wife will enjoy good health."

Second page folds closed to form a postal cover with White Star's logo on verso of cover and a 2-1/2 penny stamp on the address leaf. Uneven toning to first page and address page from prior display.
Four plastic tape remnants on verso of first page and five on recto of second page, all at edges and none affecting readability.

Otherwise VG. Mr. Graham joined the Titanic at Southampton with first-class ticket 112053 and was berthed in cabin B-52.

On her maiden voyage the Titanic struck a North Atlantic iceberg and sank within hours early on the morning of April 14, 1912.

The letter in the auction was placed in the mail from Southhampton, England just prior to the ship's departure on April 10 for its never-completed trans-Atlantic crossing to New York City. (enlarge photo)

Graham did not survive the sinking.
"Hours before the ship struck an iceberg, Graham wired his wife back in Canada saying he was well and indicating he would be in New York City on Wednesday.
She received the wire on Tuesday morning, when news of the disaster was on everyone's lips, and mistakenly took it to mean her husband survived," explained Litzenberger.

"Days later she was informed his body had been recovered from the North Atlantic."

Letters written aboard the Titanic are among the most scarce and desirable articles connected with the tragedy.

About Spink
Spink is the world's leading auctioneer of coins, stamps, medals, banknotes, bonds, share certificates and autographs, with offices in London, Singapore, New York and Dallas.