Tag Archives: Titanic auction

Rare Titanic Postcard Up for Auction;Legal Action in Premier Exhibitions Bankruptcy

New York Times Front Page 16 April 1912
Public Domain (Wikimedia Commons)

Titanic postcard with eerie message written by maid goes up for auction (New York Post, 19 June 2018)
A postcard written by a maid on the Titanic to a friend which said “wish you were here” is expected to fetch more than $26,000 at auction.
Sarah Daniels wrote to pal Nell Green on April 11, 1912 – four days before the doomed liner hit an iceberg and sank which resulted in 1,503 lives lost. The pencil-written postcard, which bears a black-and-white picture of the Titanic, was addressed to Miss Green of Birmingham, England. The card has a post stamp of Queenstown, now Cobh in Cork, Ireland, which was the port from which mail written on board was posted.

-The postcard will be auctioned as part of a lot on July 18, 2018 by Warwick & Warwick Auctioneers.

Premier Exhibitions Update:
The Lawsuit is filed….After obtaining permission to pursue legal action, the Equity Committee of Premier Shareholders has filed suit against Mark Sellers, Sellers Capital, Daoping Bao and others alleging breach of fiduciary duty, a hasty merger with Daoping Bao without proper consideration of the merger, other opportunities, proper accounting review of Dinoking among other things. In short, you guys did a lousy job of running the company and an even more lousy job with merging with DinoKing. And now we want the shareholders, who lost equity in all of this, to get compensation. Ought to be interesting to watch. You can read the complaint here.

Summer is here and kids want to play? How about a Titanic Bouncy Slide?
The recent Taste of Charlotte festival usually has little controversy. This year for the event there was an inflatable slide in the shape of the sinking Titanic. It struck many as odd and in some cases offensive reported Fox46. Now this slide has been around for a while so it is nothing new. And while some did not like it, others had no problem having fun. Fun or tacky? Well I have said it before, if you turn tragedy into something like this you are bound to not appreciate that 1,500 died on a cold April night in 1912.
Source:Fun or Offensive? ‘Sinking Titanic’ slide at Taste of Charlotte turns heads (Fox46,12 June 2018)


Titanic Tidbits

RMS Titanic departing Southampton on April 10, 1912.
RMS Titanic departing Southampton on April 10, 1912.

1.  A lump of coal and a rusticle that were salvaged from Titanic in the 1990’s are going up for auction. The coal was brought up in 1994 (the Titanic Research & Recovery Expedition) and the rusticle from the ship’s hull from the 1998 French expedition to the site. The go under the hammer today at JP Humbert Auctioneers (UK).
Source: Chunk Of Titanic Goes Under The Hammer(10 Mar 2015,Advertiser & Review)

2.The UK Guardian’s Chase Condrone gave Titanic Museum at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee a good review. She notes the museum crafts reality and theatre into one with people dressed up in period costumes, the original items on display, the ability to feel the coldness of that night. It also makes her in one case feel a bit creepy:

I walk up to a narrow trough of water, and a sign tells me to plunge my hand into it. The water is 28 degrees: the temperature of the Atlantic that night. In his 1915 poem The Convergence of the Twain, Thomas Hardy saw the Titanic and the iceberg as “twin halves of one august event”. My iceberg is just a picture, but this room is nonetheless creepy, and as I trail my hand in the trough of icy water, I feel certain that I could never know the experience of the Titanic.

Source: For $27 You Can Experience The Sinking Of The Titanic – In Landlocked Tennessee (12 Mar 2015,The Guardian)

3. Eurogamer.net reports that a proposed project called Titanic Honor & Glory will be the most ambitious recreation of the disaster to date. While it will be a game, the developer has hired a team of contributors to make it historically accurate (except of course the fictional aspects of the story). There will be interaction with real-life Titanic passengers and crew. Sounds pretty ambitious and hopefully will come to pass.
Source: Ambitious Titanic Game Lets You Explore The Sinking Ship In Real-Time (eurogamer.net,24 Feb 2015

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Titanic Musings-Ballard Wishes He Claimed Titanic

Right now the artifacts raised from Titanic are up for auction but only as a single lot. RMS Titanic, Inc. did not like this restriction since it makes hard to find a buyer or group of buyers willing to put up $189 million. However the proposed auction has been delayed and a press release yesterday indicates they are in negotiations with multiple parties. A press conference originally scheduled for 11 April has been put off until further notice. One wonders who these buyers might be considering the huge price tag. It could be a consortium of museums, government entities, or very wealthy business people who want to continue the exhibition.

Robert Ballard, who was part of the expedition that found Titanic in 1985, now regrets disclosing its location. Further he wishes now he could have made a claim on the wreck to prevent salvage. Except of course he could not have done so easily. Likely he would be excluded do his association with Wood’s Hole at the time. Wood’s Hole received government money and worked with the U.S. Navy. And government employees and those who work or affiliated with government are excluded from making salvage claims (which would give them an unfair advantage over private companies). Then there is the fact that Ballard was a reserve naval officer. Ballard knows this making his recent claim on National Public Radio curious. Then again perhaps it was just wistful thinking on his part.

Perhaps even more odd is the United Nations stance in the manner. Some years ago there was an attempt to secure a treaty to protect Titanic from further salvage. The proposed signatories would have been Britain, France, Canada, and the United States. The Titanic Treaty was never formally ratified and thus never came into effect (supposedly because France did not want to sign). But UNESCO apparently has included Titanic as protected under a 2001 convention on underwater cultural heritage. This comes into effect this year according to MSNBC thus any further salvage would allow parties to the convention to seize artifacts and prevent exploration that is “deemed unscientific or unethical.”

The problem is that no one is going to enforce this if the party involved either follows maritime law to salvage or is simply diving down to view the wreck. Simply diving down to view is allowed despite a foolish court action by RMS Titanic, Inc years ago to stop it (they lost, by the way). And UNESCO can do nothing if artifacts are raised and taken to a country that tells them to take a hike (like China or Russia). This sounds like your typical feel good thing that makes one feel good but actually achieves very little in the end.

That leaves Doug Wooley, who claims to own Titanic and wants to raise it, with a problem. Good luck on that Doug, 🙂

Titanic News Stories for 20 Oct 2011

1. Premier Exhibitions, Inc. Acquires Titanic-Themed Exhibition in Orlando (18 Oct 2011,MarketWatch-Press Release)
Premier Exhibitions, Inc. PRXI +0.53% , a leading presenter of museum-quality touring exhibitions around the world, announced today it entered into an agreement to purchase the assets of a Titanic-themed exhibition (Titanic The Experience) in Orlando, Florida. The acquisition of Titanic The Experience enables Premier to immediately begin generating revenue in this established entertainment facility. In addition, the acquisition provides the Company with an existing multi-million dollar exhibition with minimal startup costs and an attractive ongoing cost structure relative to building a new Titanic themed exhibition in Orlando. As a result, the Company is able to enter a prime tourist destination market for a nominal initial investment. “This acquisition provides a great opportunity to expand our semi-permanent installations into one of the preeminent tourist markets in the world,” said Christopher Davino, Premier Exhibitions, Inc. president and chief executive officer. “We look forward to enhancing Titanic The Experience and bringing an engaging exhibition that will not only capture the imagination of visitors but provide Orlando with an additional world-class entertainment destination.”

2. Diagrams From Titanic Inquest To Be Auctioned (19 Oct 2011, The Associated Press)
The two diagrams, which are among more than 370 lots of Titanic memorabilia in next week’s sale, are more modest in scale. One showing deck levels and the placement of lifeboats measures 74 inches (188 centimeters) by 56 inches (142 centimeters). The presale estimate is 40,000-60,000 pounds ($63,000-$95,000). The other — a plan of first-class accommodations, including pictures of some of the cabins — measures 29 inches by 41 inches (74 centimeters by 104 centimeters). The estimated price is 30,000-50,000 pounds ($48,000-$80,000).

3. Lifeboat Believed To Be From Titanic On Display Starting Saturday (19 Oct 2011, Shore News Today)
In December of 2007, Absecon Lighthouse came into possession of a donated Titanic exhibit, which included a Titanic-era original Harland and Wolff Lifeboat, circa 1909, believed to be one of the Titanic lifeboats. The boat matches the description from the official British enquiry of the Titanic disaster.  The Carpathia, the ship that rescued Titanic survivors, brought 13 Titanic lifeboats back to New York.  Although the fate of the boats is unclear, they may have been put back into service aboard other White Star liners.  The boat could potentially be the only lifesaving boat from the Titanic in existence today.

Titanic Musings

Sorry folks for not posting in a while. Things have been somewhat hectic lately.

1) On the auction front, there has been some interesting items that sold. An affidavit signed by Titanic survivor Laura Francatelli fetched $31,937. A poster of Titanic from 1912 sold for $95,792.

2) Titanic:The Artifact Exhibition is coming to London’s 02 Arena starting on 2 Nov 2010.

3) Despite criticism from some quarters, reports indicate that bookings for the Titanic 2012 cruises are filling up.

4) Blast from the past: From press reports it appears the owners of Deepwater Horizon, the rig involved in the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, plan to use the same liability law that Titanic’s owners did in 1912. The Limitation of Liability Act limits the liability of the owner of a vessel to the value of its interest in the vessel at the end of the voyage. In 1912 this law was used by the owners to limit their liability to just under $92,000 (the value of surviving lifeboats and equipment). Thus claims made against White Star were limited to that amount no matter the actual value of the loss.

5) The recent Titanic 2 movie was exactly as predicted. It came out and sank quickly.

6) Ghostly Titanic? Every year I learn of some Titanic connected ghost story. Personally the one that makes the grade is from Ghostbusters II when Titanic docks and its passengers (all ghosts) disembark!

7) Your hear strange things on the Internet. Someone out there claimed that the salvage award was not done in the right court of law or that the judge was the wrong one. In the United States, federal courts have original jurisdiction on all admiralty and maritime cases. And judges that hear those cases are federal not state judges. Sometimes federal judges are referred to as district judges. Since federal courts are judicial districts, a federal judge can also be referred to as a federal district judge.

While people can disagree on whether salvage of Titanic was right or wrong, RMS Titanic Inc (RMST) did follow correct procedure by going to a U.S. federal court to get a salvage award. Since they had items in their possession which came from Titanic, this allowed the court (under recognized salvage law) to gain jurisdiction. The original decision, with modifications made by an appeals court, has been upheld. Just because Titanic was flying the Union Jack in 1912 does not confer immunity from salvage as some might claim. Salvage law allows for this to happen since it presumes salvage is done on behalf of the owner.