The judge in the Premier Exhibitions bankruptcy case has approved the sale of the artifact collection to a hedge fund consortium for $19.5 million. The Equity Committee filed objections to the sale but the judge overruled them. A UK consortium attempted to raise funds to purchase the collection but withdrew after the judge ruled that potential buyers would have to raise $21.5 million to trigger an auction. Criticism of the sale process has been raised by both National Maritime Museum Greenwich (NMMG) and National Museums Northern Ireland (NMNI) who were part of the UK consortium.
It is unknown at this time whether the Equity Committee will appeal the judge’s decision. The artifact sale will still have to be confirmed by the Federal Court in Virginia where the salvage award was litigated.
1. Rare Titanic Poster Surfaces
The Irish Mirror reports that a rare Titanic poster has been found and soon will be up for auction. Red,white and blue posters were put up around lower Manhattan in New York during the spring of 1912. After the sinking,the posters were taken down by White Star. The posters advertised Titanic as “Queen of the Ocean.” They included two black and white photos of the interior with Olympic as the stand in. And they were for the return journey set for Saturday, April 20, 1912. The Mirror reports only a handful survived and the one up from auction cam from a private source. Henry Aldridge & Son is handling the auction. The presale estimate is £60,000-£100,000 ($78,580-$130,968).
Source: Rare poster on return voyage of the Titanic surfaces over 100 years after sinking (Irish Mirror,17 Oct 2018, )
(Due to policy of Irish newspapers to impose fee on links to news articles, we are not providing one here.)
2. Titanic II in 2022?
Well say this about Clive Palmer, he is not given up on the idea of creating a seaworthy replica of the famous ship. It was a total bust last time since he could not get Chinese investors aboard. Now he is claiming it will launch in 2022 after being built in China, sail to Dubai following a shakedown cruise from China to Signapore, and then to Southampton. The project is expected to cost $500 million. Whether this is just a publicity stunt remains to be seen.
Source: New Titanic to set sail from Dubai in 2022, says Clive Palmer (arabianbusiness.com,16 Oct 2018) https://www.arabianbusiness.com/travel/406296-new-titanic-to-set-sail-from-dubai-in-2022-says-clive-palmer
On 8 Oct 2018, Premier Exhibitions filed a Notice of Cancellation of Auction with the federal bankruptcy court as no other bidders met the minimum required. This means that the bid submitted by PacBridge Capital Partners (HK) et al for $19.5 million will stand. The company will now seek the court approval to sell the company and artifacts to them.
The Equity Committee has filed motions opposing the sale and still seeks other bidders.
According to Daily Mail, a recently uncovered letter from White Star Line apologizes for losing a wine delivery due to Titanic sinking. The later, dated 16 April 1912, apologizes to Berry Bros and Rudd for losing 69 cases of its wine.
Dear Sirs, referring to your shipment by this steamer, it is with great regret we have to inform you that the ‘Titanic’ foundered at 2.20am 15th instant, after colliding with an iceberg, and is a total loss. Details of shipment are shown at foot. Yours faithfully, for White Star Line.
A framed copy of the letter now hangs at Berry Bros and Rudd in London while the original is in a safe. A sales ledger from 1909-1912 confirms the wines were aboard Titanic and that a replacement shipment was sent out after the sinking.
The BBC is reporting that the bid by a consortium of museums (Royal Museums Greenwich,National Museums Northern Ireland,Titanic Belfast and Titanic Foundation Limited and others)has been outbid by a hedge fund consortium that bid $19.5 million for the collection. The head of the National Museums of Northern Ireland (NMNI) said that they had not given up hope of bringing the collection to Northern Ireland. While it is not clear whether they can raise additional money, they will stress that selling to them will keep the collection in public ownership. One Titanic expert, Professor John William Foster disagrees.
Foster states: “What happened to Titanic after she left Belfast is, in a sense, none of Belfast’s business,” he said. “As this exhibition circulates the globe, we get a lot of publicity from this, and it’s good publicity – not the publicity from the Troubles, so I’d be keen to see these artefacts keep going around the world.”
Source: Titanic: Museum bid to bring artefacts to Belfast fails (BBC,22 Sept 2018)
For those who watch the calendar, today marks the official end of summer and the beginning of autumn with the equinox today. There are two equinoxes in the year: March and September. When these equinoxes occur the sun is directly on the equator, and the length of day and night is almost equal. In the Northern hemisphere, the September Equinox heralds autumn while in the South it is the beginning of spring.
For those of us in the North, it means a transition from summer to winter. During this period days start getting shorter and nights longer. Depending on where you live, you will likely have moderate warm days followed by long and cooler nights. Harvests of many crops often take place during the fall and in the old days you would make preparations to store food for the winter. Harvest festivals are very popular and in particular Halloween. Pumpkins begin appearing along with all kinds of Halloween decor culminating, of course, in All Hallows Eve (Halloween) on October 31.
The official notice of the upcoming sale of Titanic artifacts has been issued by the Equity Committee. According to the press release, the auction will take place on 11 Oct 2018 at 10 am. The entire Titanic collection that not only includes all the salvaged artifacts but the intellectual property along with all the digital footage that have been recorded will be auctioned off. According to the press release:
Currently, a consortium of hedge funds, including Apollo Global Management, LLC, Alta Fundamental Advisors, LLC, and PacBridge Capital Partners (HK) Ltd. have submitted an offer to buy the company’s assets for $19.5M, being treated as a bid floor. Unless a competing buyer steps forward, the company’s assets, including the entire Titanic collection, will be sold to this group for its $19.5M bid. As per the bidding procedures, a new buyer needs to submit, by October 5, 2018 at 4:00 p.m., a qualifying preliminary bid of at least $21.5M to enter the auction.
The consortium of museums and James Cameron had better get moving if they want to get control of the Titanic artifacts. Some have suggested the US and British governments could step in and do something. If they are planning anything, they are keeping very quiet about it.
With summer now in the rear view mirror, autumn is coming up soon. Many stores have already put out Halloween candy and a few costumes. One grocery store nearby has started making pumpkin pies and put out whole pumpkins for sale. But who puts out pumpkins in September? No one that I know of. A few commercials with Halloween themes are starting to appear as well. And of course we are starting to see just the usual beginnings of “true” ghost stories starting to appear.
Autumn is usually the transition from Summer towards Winter. The days get shorter and the nights longer. Temperatures start to drop in most areas but not always. The San Francisco Bay Area usually has its long awaited summer. Most of the year the temperatures along the coast are in the 60’s to low 70’s Fahrenheit and often cooler due to the marine layer. But in September and October, heat arrives from the interior. The wind shifts to off shore and temperatures usually soar sometimes with record breaking days. Usually it lasts just a few days at a stretch but it can be quite miserable with all the concrete radiating heat in downtown Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose. Most homes do not have air conditioning. We wait anxiously for the fog to return and rejoice when it brings the cooling we so desperately want. But it creates spectacularly bright days which is great for sightseeing. Beaches that normally are only visited by people walking their dogs or surfers become popular spots. Just remember that sand can be hot as well!
Of course the big news for Titanic buffs is the bankruptcy of Premier Exhibitions and the impending sale of the artifacts. The best news would be for the collection to stay in the U.S. or Britain conserved by a museum (or group of them). Hard to see how it will play out but the big money is on the Chinese to purchase it. Of course they will swear up and down they will keep it all together and in the court’s jurisdiction. I suspect though that little by little it will go over to that new theme park in China where a Titanic replica is being built. What Clive Palmer could not pull off they are doing quite handily. From all accounts, it will be quite a sight to behold.
Going over to You Tube you will find all kinds of videos about Titanic. Some are trailers or clips from the various Titanic movies. Others purport to present shocking new evidence of how it really sank. Some of the more reliable ones are from reputable sources like the History Channel, BBC and others. Then sometimes you come across one that makes you stop and enjoy. My Heart Will Go On has become an international standard from that movie and for Celine Dion her most famous song. Here is a lovely rendition of that song on a violin.
1.Pocket Watch From Titanic Victim Sold For $57,500 (Smithsonian,29 Aug 2018) On April 15, 1912, Sinai Kantor was among the more than 1,500 people who lost their lives when the Titanic plunged into the North Atlantic. Recovery workers later pulled his body from the ocean and found a number of items that had been on his person when he died. One of those items, a pocket watch marked with Hebrew letters, recently sold at auction for $57,500, reports the Associated Press. John Miottel, owner of the private Miottel Museum in California, purchased the watch at auction. He already owns a number of timepieces that belonged to Titanic victims, including John Jacob Astor IV, the financier who helped build the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, and Oscar Woody, the Titanic’s U.S. Postal Clerk.
2. Bankrupt Titanic Exhibitor Sets Biggest Sale of Ship Relics (Bloomberg, 30 Aug 2018)
This story, as predicted, is getting more heated now. To sum up: the current owner is bankrupt and wants to sell its most prized possession of all-the historic Titanic artifact collection. In the past getting anyone to put up the money was so difficult–due to constrictions imposed on the salvage award–that no one could afford purchasing it as one set. The article indicates three possible bidders:
1. Daoping Bao, has proposed a plan backed by a bevy of investment funds and Chinese businessmen who have bought $2 million of the company’s debt. Among Bao’s backers are Hong Kong-based PacBridge Capital Partners Ltd. and U.S.-based Apollo Global Management. Bao’s group is pledging to keep the collection intact and within reach of U.S. courts while planning to ramp up scientific and tourist expeditions to the wreck. Bao’s group raised their bid to $19.5 million
2. Titanic Branson
The owners of Titanic Branson and Titanic Pigeon Forge would like to purchase it and have made an offer in the past of $5-10 million that was turned down.
3. James Cameron & Museums: Cameron and a group of museums are offering $19.2 million.
As I suspected earlier, the Chinese are putting up a lot of money so they can move this to their theme park in China where a Titanic replica will be built. Make no mistake on this one, serious money is being put on the table. The downside is that once they are out of the U.S., there is no guarantee they will abide by the salvage award requirements. They claim they will keep it in U.S. but most are not sure they will do this. The bids from the Pigeon Forge and Cameron group is serious as well and both would likely keep the collection together.
And it is still possible that the bankruptcy court could conclude the easiest path is to auction off the pieces and pay off the debt rather than deal with the bids. The Bao group has put down a cash deposit to show they are serious. It is also possible that the government could step in to prevent its sale to Bao. That would leave the other two players. Certainly the Cameron group has museums behind him that know a lot about conserving artifacts. As for Pigeon Forge, they could end up getting it if the court is uncertain of the other two bids and wants to keep it right here in the U.S.
[Due to summer break, I did not post much. Catching up on some news that hopefully will interest everyone-editor]
This Man Was The Only Passenger Of Known African Ancestry To Die On The Titanic In 1912 (Face2FaceAfrica.com, 8 Aug 2018) When the blockbuster movie, “Titanic” was released in 1997, telling the story of the over 1,000 people who died in the world’s biggest shipping disaster in 1912, there was no portrayal of any African or black person aboard the ship. But later research by the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry would reveal that there were a distinguished Haitian man and his white wife on board the ship. Joseph Phillippe Lemercier Laroche, who would later become the only man of African descent to die in the Titanic ship disaster, was from a privileged class in Haiti and had received education from private tutors.Born on May 26, 1889, in Cap Haitien, Haiti, Laroche was the son of a white French army captain and a Haitian woman who was a descendant of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the first ruler of independent Haiti.
Titanic Pocket Watch With Hebrew Numerals Could Fetch £15,000 At Auction (Jewish News,15 Aug 2018) A silver pocket watch with Hebrew numerals recovered from a Russian-Jewish victim of the Titanic disaster is expected to fetch more than $20,000 (£15,728) when it goes under the hammer this month. Sinai Kantor, 34, from Vitebsk, Russia, was hoping to start a new life in America when his life was tragically cut short after the RMS Titanic collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic, on April 12, 1912. The Swiss-made, open-face silver-on-brass watch, with its original movement and a diameter of three inches, includes numerals that are Hebrew letters. An embossed design on the back shows Moses holding the Ten Commandments. The watch’s movement is rusted as a result of immersion in salt water, the hands are nearly all deteriorated and the dial is stained. Kantor’s pocket watch will go under the hammer at Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas, on August 25.