A handwritten note written by a first class passenger is up for auction at Henry Aldridge & Son reports The News. The note was recovered from the body of Titanic first class passenger Alexander Oskar Holverson.
“It is oversized, hand written on Titanic letterhead by a victim just a day before the ship hit the iceberg, mentions the food, the music and the elite on board, contains an ominous message with regards to the fate of the ship, was carried by its author into the Atlantic and, thence, on to the body recovery ship and shows evidence of its submersion in salt water.”
The note is expected to fetch £80,000 ($106,050 USD) when it comes up for auction on 21 October.
1. Robert Ballard, part of the team that discovered Titanic, recently gave a lecture at Jacksonville University. Addressing 150 marine biology students he noted that he was inspired by the fictional Captain Nemo. While Titanic made him famous, he noted:
“I have done 150 expeditions and when I look back on what were the most important ones, it was not finding the Titanic,” Ballard said. “It was finding amazing systems in our ocean that we did not know were there; going to look for ‘A’ and finding something more important.”
2. When noted scientists get involved in silly controversies over fictional movies, I usually shake my head. On the other hand Neil DeGrasse Tyson pointed out a major plot hole over Jack Dawson’s demise.
“Whether or not he could’ve been successful, I would’ve tried more than once. You try once. ‘Oh, this is not gonna work. I will just freeze to death in the water.’ No, excuse me. No!
Unlike the Australian tycoon who could not even put a rivet to his dream of a Titanic replica, the Chinese are half done on their own version reports the UK Daily Mail.
The construction of a full-size replica of the Titanic in China is now half complete. Builders are said to be working around the clock on the £105 million tourist attraction in order to finish the project by the end of the year. Six out of the nine decks of the ship are said to have been built.
The copy of the luxurious passenger ship, which sank in 1912 killing 1,500 people, will be a part of a grand theme park in Sichuan, south-west China, and will be painstakingly reproduced.
According to press reports and interviews, the ship will be an exact replica but docked permanently as part of the Romandisea Seven Star International Cultural Tourism Resort. And it will also offer people the opportunity to stay aboard and experience what it was like back in 1912. Scrapped from the original plan was the idea of a sinking simulator. It was dropped after it got severely criticized by Titanic groups and descendants of Titanic survivors.
The ship is scheduled to be completed this and open in 2019.
No word if Clive Palmer plans to attend its grand opening.
The bankruptcy proceedings of Premier Exhibitions have been lumbering on for a while with not much to report on. But on 17 August a major decision was made. Premier decided to put up for sale a certain set of artifacts known collectively as the French Artifacts. These artifacts were brought up as part of a joint project but were excluded from the salvage award currently in place as they were property of the French government.
Premier filed to put these up for sale. Papers were served on French Embassy notifying them of the claim and their right to challenge it in court. Well they did not do so. As a result a default judgment has been entered against them with a finding that France had no interest in the French Artifacts. After some formal paperwork is done, the next step will be to come up with a satisfactory method of auctioning them off so that debts can be retired and creditors paid.
The artifacts covered under the current salvage award are unaffected by this decision.
Summer tends to be a slow for Titanic news so I generally do not post as often as many people are away on summer break. Here is some recent Titanic news of interest to Titanic enthusiasts and others.
1. Lego model of Titanic built with 125,000 pieces on display in Cavendish (CBC News, 24 June 2017)
There have been some fantastic recreations of Titanic using Lego. And here is one that most definitely took a lot of work and love to do. “The Lego Titanic model is made up of about 125,000 pieces and measures about nine metres long, said the Maritime Fun Group’s Jessica Caseley. t’s quite large. So, when you go up to it, it just looks like a large boat. You start to notice all of the details. You could probably spend 10 to 20 minutes just examining the structure itself. Yeah, it’s really neat,” she said.
2. Margaret Brown led a remarkable life even apart from surviving the Titanic (A.V.Club, 18 June 2017) Mrs. Brown dove into high society, becoming a devotee of the arts and learning four languages. She raised funds for a cathedral in Denver, and helped establish the country’s first juvenile court. Two years after the Titanic, Brown ran for the U.S. Senate, but cut her campaign short to volunteer to help France recover from the first World War. She used her Titanic fame to work for workers’ rights, women’s rights, education, and historic preservation, before dying of a brain tumor at age 65.
3. Masabumi Hosono survived the Titanic, but not the public’s scorn (A.V. Club, 25 June 2017) Initially, Hosono was celebrated alongside other survivors. An American newspaper ran a story on the “Lucky Japanese Boy.” (As Hosono was 41, “Boy” seems to be racism typical of the era.) But he was soon condemned both in America and at home for not honoring the ethos of “women and children first.” A best-selling book about Titanic survivors described him as a “stowaway” on the lifeboat, and the seaman in charge of the lifeboat told the U.S. Senate he must have disguised himself as a woman to sneak on board. Neither account was true—by his own account, Hosono saw other lifeboats depart and mentally prepared himself for death. But as lifeboat 10 was loading up, someone shouted “room for two more!” and Hosono followed another man on board. It’s hard to imagine anyone else would have acted differently in the same situation.
4. Premier Exhibitions Bankruptcy Update
Premier filed its monthly operating report for May 2017. According to the filing “The Debtors have entered a Plan Support Agreement under which they have agreed to propose a Chapter 11 reorganization plan which the Equity Committee supports. Under the Plan Support Agreement, the Debtors and the Equity Committee are engaged in a marketing process to sell all of the Debtors’ assets, including the entire Titanic Artifacts Collection either as assets of the estate or through the sale of RMS Titanic Inc., the company that holds the Titanic Artifacts. The remaining Debtors and their assets likewise would be sold. The deadline for receipt of initial letters of intent is currently scheduled for July 21, 2017.” Further information can be found at the following links:
June 23, 2017
Premier Exhibitions 8-K: https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/796764/000117184317003792/f8k_062317.htm
1. A Harland & Wolff minute book that has information about RMS Titanic is coming up for auction on 20 June 2017. According to the Belfast Telegraph, this minute book contains information between 1905-1918 that chronicles the day-to-day business of the shipyard. Reference to Titanic is contained within its pages such as the balance sheet for 1910-1911 showing that Titanic was a work in progress. It is valued between £400-£600. Remarkably a teapot used that was used on Herman Goerings private dining car is valued between £2,500-£3,500.
Source: Titanic records, Ulster Covenant and Nazi Goering’s teapot at Belfast auction (Belfast Telegraph, 13 June 2017)
2. This is not new news but adds more information. As previously reported, a Washington State based startup company plans to dive to Titanic in 2018. Unlike previous tourist dives, the participants are part of the expedition and must pass physicals. It will also cost over $100,000 (the actual fee is today’s equivalent of first class on Titanic).
Source: Washington submarine firm to take people to the Titanic (Las Vegas Review Journal, 14 June 2017)
3. Rare liquors have their own following and very high prices. Consider one called Marie Brizard Danzig,a liqueur that was served on Titanic in 1912. Louis Renualt, the founder of Renault cars, found out that it was served aboard the famous ship and tracked down this rare liqueur and put into his personal collection. Now what makes this such a rare find is that this liqueur contains gold shards (22-23 carat) and was created by a Dutchman in the 16th century. Michel-Jack Chasseuil, a private collector, purchased this rare bottle from Renault’s descendants and it will be on display at VinExpo Bordeaux 18-21 June 2017. You can somewhat share in the experience if you buy Danzig Goldwasser, which has a 22-carat gold leaf. Source: French liqueur brand Marie Brizard is set to unveil an “exceptionally rare” liqueur once served on board the doomed RMS Titanic at this year’s Vinexpo in Bordeaux (The Spirits Business, 16 June 2017)
To close off this Sunday post is great song from Boz Scaggs. Enjoy.
3. Titanic Belfast Celebrates Record-Breaking Year (Hospitality Ireland,11 May 2017) Titanic Belfast’s chief executive, Tim Husbands, stated that “2016/17 was a really strong year. Not only did we have our busiest day ever in August 2016, with an increase in numbers from key markets including Britain, USA, China, France, Germany and Australia, but we were also crowned World’s Leading Tourist Attraction at the prestigious World Travel Awards.”More than 82% of those who visited the attraction in 2016 were from outside Northern Ireland, with over 40% of all visitors asserting that Titanic Belfast represented the sole reason for their journey to Northern Ireland.
Sorry to not post in a while. It was due to both work and the tax season. Now for the news.
1. Titanic stewardess’ fur coat fetches £150,000 at auction (Independent, 23 April 2017)
Fur coats used to be a stylish thing to wear but these days they are despised. Back in 1912 though, they were an important status symbol.In this case it was neither style nor class but the need to keep warm. Mabel Bennett, a first-class stewardess aboard Titanic, threw it on to keep herself warm. She kept it one while on Carpathia and for the rest of her life. After her death, it was sold to Henry Aldridge and Son who loaned it to a museum in the U.S. It was auctioned off on Saturday far above the estimated price of £50,000-£80,000 and sold for a staggering £150,000 ($191,767USD). The buyers name was not announced but surely one of the highest prices paid for a collectible mink coat.
2. Lost Titanic letter expected to fetch big money at auction (New York Post, 20 April 2017) A “Wish You Were Here” letter written aboard the Titanic could fetch thousands of dollars at auction this weekend. Four days before the ship sank, Swiss banker Alfons Simonius-Blumer penned the missive to his wife and daughter — in which he expressed regret they were not aboard the ship.Simonius-Blumer was sailing to New York on business with a colleague, Max Staehelin, but without his wife, Alice, and their daughter, Ella. He wrote the letter the morning of April 11, 1912, while the supposed unsinkable pride of the White Star Line steamed between Cherbourg in France and Queenstown, Ireland, its last stop before the fateful Atlantic crossing. Simonius-Blumer also described visiting the ship’s gym, enjoying the Turkish baths and lighting up in the smoking room. As a first-class passenger, he was able to get on a lifeboat after the Titanic struck an iceberg late at night on April 14 and was rescued by the RMS Carpathia the following morning.
The letter was also auctioned off on Saturday at Henry Aldridge for £32,500 ($41,543USD)
3. Titanic relatives mark 105th anniversary in Belfast (BBC, 14 April 2017) The event was organised by the great-grandson of the man who was at the helm when the ship struck an iceberg. Simon Medhurst, a long-time collector of Titanic memorabilia, said he only found out that he was related to Robert Hichens, one of the ship’s quartermasters, after meeting his birth father in 2012. “It was a complete turnaround for my life, really, from collecting to suddenly being somebody who is connected to the Titanic,” he said. Simon explained that Friday’s event had taken two years to organise. “I wasn’t sure if it would just be our family that turned up, but actually it’s been phenomenal to see relatives and enthusiasts. People just love the story of the Titanic. “I think the importance of this type of gathering is in that it is easy to forget that there were those who lost their lives.”
4. Full-size Titanic replica built in China (Jakarta Post,19 April 2017)
The project was first announced in 2014 and will cost an estimated 1 billion yuan (US$145.4 million). The model will measure out at 269-meters long and 28-meters wide, complete with a ballroom, theater, swimming pool, first-class cabins, and even Wi-Fi, according to Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group deputy general manager Wang Weiling as reported by AFP. The design of the ship is based on the original British passenger liner, and both British and American designers and technicians will assist in the project. And just in case visitors have worries of a second sinking, the boat will be permanently docked on a reservoir in a rural area of Sichuan province, according to Xinhua. No word from Clive Palmer about whether his Titanic replica will ever get funded.
“Many descendants of people onboard the ship travelled from far and wide to see the exhibits, which also included a range of items from the Titanic’s sister ships including the Olympic and Britannic. Among them was Simon Medhurst, whose great-grandfather, Robert Hichens, was at the helm of the vessel when it hit the iceberg.The 48-year-old, who travelled down from his home in Chelmsford, said it’s important for people to remember.”
2. Interactive Titanic museum being planned for Niagara Falls, Ont. (Global News,20 Jan 2017)
“A group in Niagara Falls, Ont., has conditionally purchased land that would house the museum and is moving ahead with plans to launch an exhibit dubbed “Experience Titanic.” David Van Velzen, who’s spearheading the project, says the museum will differ from many similar efforts around the world by focusing on an interactive audience experience. Van Velzen says the museum will feature rooms that replicate those on the doomed ocean liner that sank in 1912, and will aim to recreate the experience of striking the iceberg that brought the “unsinkable ship” down. He also says the exhibit will try to educate guests about the various Canadian connections to the ship.”
3. A tragedy of Titanic proportions off the Donegal coast (Derry Journal, 21 Jan 2017)
“She (Laurentic) was on her way to Nova Scotia with German prisoners and 43 tonnes of gold to pay for munitions for the War effort. She was a former White Star Liner, the same as the Titanic, but she was commandeered by the Royal Navy because she was a fast ship and could outrun submarines. The ship struck two mines at the mouth of Lough Swilly and went down very quick. It was minus 13 degrees, it was bitter cold and it was a moonless night and the only light they could see was the light of Fanad Lighthouse. “All or most of the sailors got off and the captain was the last to get off. Even the prisoners were rescued and taken off and they all got into lifeboats, but because of the night that it was, many of them died of exposure, froze to death. It’s the worst place to have a sinking there’s no beaches.”
4. The story behind Saudi Titanic (Saudi Gazette, 21 Jan 2017)
“The wreckage of the ship, dubbed by some Saudis as the ‘Saudi Titanic,’ is one of the main tourist attractions in Hakal province, Sada Tabuk reported. ‘Georgios G’ was built in England after the end of the Second World War, and in 1958 was launched as a cargo liner owned by several individuals and companies. The vessel was owned by a Greek company during its doomed trip, when it got stranded on corals off the Saudi coast in 1978 carrying a cargo of flour. The ship, caught on the corals of the coast, was stuck due to the narrow route available to navigate. The steep, mountain edge rising from the sea made the passage through the valley difficult to maneuver through.”
A planned Titanic-themed resort hotel in Tinian has stalled reports Radio New Zealand. While Bridge Investment Group secured a 40-year lease on the property from the Port of Tinian, it has not gotten approval from the Coastal Resources Management. They contend that since the resort will have casino gaming it is not a port-related activity. So they have denied a permit.
And when it rains it really pours as the Department of Public Lands argues the lease violates its grant of public domain to the Commonwealth Ports Authority. They argue leasing to an entity that engages in a prohibited activity is illegal. So while lawyers and politicians argue how to resolve all of this, the planned development that was supposed to have begun early in 2016 has been pushed back. Way back.
Source:$150M Titanic-themed resort on Tinian stalls (30 Dec 2016,Radionz.co.nz)