Artifacts


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Rebecca wilding

Guest
Hi I was just wondering if someone could fill me in on the controversy surrounding uncovering personal arifacts from the sea.
Have any attempts been made to do this? and if so what was found? All I have heard is that the general feeling is that it is 'grave robbing'
Also, did the large metal barriers seperating/confining the Third class passengers really exist as depicted in the film 'Titanic'?
Thank you for your time and help,
Rebecca
 

Dan Cherry

Member
Dec 14, 1999
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Rebecca,
Personal items were retrieved from the debris
field in 1987, and I am not positive if to this
day those items went to surviving relatives. The
most publicized debate was that of the 'RLB'
belongings. The items may have belonged to Richard
L. Beckwith, first class passenger. Edith
Haisman's father's watch was recovered and she was
presented with it, I think sometime in the early
to mid 1990s. That's the only case I know of where
items were given to the family.
After she died, I believe the watch went to the
traveling exhibit, but can't be sure.

The iron gates in third class were found by a
remote vehicle recently exploring the wreck to be
locked in at least one corridor. Locked, too, were
the iron bars separating the steerage space from
the forward hatches (an unlikely, but potential
escape route). Yes, the gates existed. How many of
the others were locked, and when, remains to be
known.

Hope this helps!
Dan
 

Mike Herbold

Member
Dec 13, 1999
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Check out the bio on Henry Sutehall Jr. and the attached article "A Tragic Friendship" for information on an interesting recovery in 1993.
 

Pat Cook

Member
Apr 26, 2000
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Hi, Dan,

You wrote: "The most publicized debate was that of the 'RLB' belongings. The items may have belonged to Richard L. Beckwith, first class passenger."
What about Second Purser Reginald Lomond Barker? Are there any details that lead to a passenger or crew member?

Curiously,
Cook
 

Lou Kerr

Member
Dec 13, 1999
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This discussion thread reminded me of an article written by Nicholas Wade for the Sunday, June 25, 1995 edition of The New York Times Magazine. It is titled "The Great Escape" and describes how the Purser's half of baggage claim #208 was retrieved from the debris field and the author of the article was informed of the find by Michael Findlay. Nicholas Wade is the grandson of Lawrence Beesley, who held the other half of #208 as a receipt for an envelope containing cash which he had deposited with the Purser for safekeeping. Mr. Wade remarked that the Purser's half of the ticket was evidently safer at the bottom of the Âan the half held by Mr. Beesley, which was lost.
 

Lou Kerr

Member
Dec 13, 1999
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Last line of above message should read "...safer at the bottomr of the ocean than the half held by..."

Lou
 

Pat Cook

Member
Apr 26, 2000
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Hi, Lou,

Actually, that's not the end of the story...yet, in a way, it is. Beesley kept a 'scrapbook' (portfolio, actually) of all his Titanic papers and documents. Near the end of his life he gave this collection to Leslie Reade. Upon Reades' death, his Titanic-related items, included a great number of Beesley's, were auctioned off by Ken Schultz. Among the items sold were F. Dent Ray's deck plan which Beesley had acquired, several newspapers about the catastrophe, photos from Beesley's participation in the making of "A Night To Remember" and other such paraphenalia. But not among these items was...you guessed it, Beesley's claim check. It's still out there somewhere.

Best regards,
Cook
 
D

Daniel Rosenshine

Guest
This may be a little late, but where is the F. D. Ray's deck plan now. What deck plan was it and was it ever reproduced in any book?

Daniel.
 
Dec 13, 1999
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Daniel: F. Dent Ray's deck plans are published along with many other artifacts in a sort of 'memorablia box'. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. They are the December 1911 plans. The cabins A-36/37 are not yet shown on them.

I will contact you personnally. Regards,

Charles
 
Aug 29, 2000
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A new exhibit is coming to the Maryland Science Center- this may be posted elsewhere-opening in March I believe- and concentrating on the Titanic science ongoing - sealife, effects of corosion, rustcicles, other aspects, as well as artifact display on a smaller scale and the science of restoration.
 
May 2, 2000
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Hi, I would like to know if there is a book, a video or a web site with the complete catalogue of recovered artifacts from the Titanic. I was at the exhibition in Buenos Aires and I was amazed of how well conserved were the artifacts there, specially the clothes recovered and the bag of Mr. Andrews.
 

Bill Willard

Member
Mar 24, 2001
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This afternoon, the truck transporting artifacts to Kansas City was involved in a collision on the interstate. No news has been released concerning the condition of the artifacts.

Bill Willard
 
Jan 31, 2001
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Hello Sandro,

The statue "Artemis of Versailles" sat atop the fireplace in the Titanic's first-class lounge. It can be seen in the photograph of the lounge of Robert D. Ballard's book, "The Discovery of the Titanic."

While I am not certain as to whether or not the statue has been recovered by a submersible, I feel that it is likely. With the cherub statuette that once adorned the aft. Grand Staircase being recovered in 1993, the lounge statue seems like a good target for recovery.

However, the "Artemis of Versailles" is clearly broken. In the photograph I mentioned above, taken on the seabed, it is obvious that the left arm is missing. I am not sure that the recovery team would retrieve something that was broken, although they probably would.

I suspect that the broken arm is probably lying in the debris field someplace. Personally, I don't expect that it is around the statue itself. The statue was sitting on the fireplace in the lounge, and as the ship listed to the bow, the room would have tilted upward. The statue would have been sent soaring off the mantle and onto the floor, where it would have broken like any piece of ornamental decor in your home. When the ship broke apart, the statue would have tumbled out the gaping hole where it would have eventually hit the seabed.

I am basing the broken and missing arm on how the statue appears to me in the photograph. Perhaps it isn't broken at all; perhaps the arm is just buried in the muck of the seabed. I think I'll go ahead and ask this question before I doubt myself anymore: Is the statue "Artemis of Versailles" broken or not? I'm really beginning to doubt myself now. Also, does anyone know for certain as to whether or not it was recovered? I suspect so, seeing as how empty the debris field appeared in April of this year, when Channel 1 News sent one of its reporters down to the wreck.

Thanks.

-B.W.
 
Jan 31, 2001
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Hello Stuart,

It appears that the simple statue question is getting more in-depth now. I thought that might have been the R.M.S. Olympic's first-class lounge instead of the Titanic's. So many photographs that have been presented as being from the Titanic turn out to be from the Olympic, that it's hard to tell where they're from.

So, the Olympic's statue of "Artemis of Versailles" was once bolted down onto the mantle? This seems like a method of permanent display, and if the Titanic's statue was mounted in the same manor, I cannot percieve how it would have left the room disconnected from the fireplace. It seems to me that it would have had to have just been setting there with no form of restraint to keep it from going anywhere.

Here's a theory I have: The Titanic's lounge statue was simply placed atop the fireplace, with no bolts or any type of restraining device. The ship broke apart and sank, and the statue now rests on the seabed, because nothing was keeping it from tumbling out of the gap. Later, as the Olympic grew more accustomed to the sea, it would have surely encountered heavy waves and harsh weather. Perhaps the statue in it's lounge, or some objects similar to it, began falling from their resting places in this bad weather. To ensure that this would not continue, the statue and its like (or at least the statue) was bolted down whenever possible.

This probably meant that the Olympic's statue was some type of metal, and not a plaster-like material as I had imagined. Upon a closer inspection of the seabed photo, it would appear that the Titanic's is also made of some type of metal. This would mean that the left arm I mentioned in my other post is not missing at all, but is rather buried in the muck of the bottom.

But we still haven't answered Sandro's question: Was the statue of "Artemis of Versailles" recovered or not? Perhaps Mr. Willard could give us a hand here. Where are 'ya, Bill?

I amaze myself at how much I can jack my jaw over something as simple as a statue in the lounge that I had barely payed notice to before this!

-B.W.
 
There's a photo of the Olympic's mantlepiece at:
http://users.classicfm.net/rmsolympic/sockets.html

It doesn't look as if the statue was bolted but simply slotted in. All it would need would be something to prevent it falling off the mantelpiece in rough seas.

There are no photos of the Titanic's First Class lounge. I often make this point that only a handful of Titanic's interiors were photographed. Most of the "Titanic" photos you see are in fact of Olympic and were taken by Harland & Wolff during a pre-maiden voyage photo shoot in May 1911. When Titanic was ready in March 1912, it can only be assumed that the rooms looked so similar, iot wasn't worth taking more photos of them. Comparisons of the photo Fr. Browne took of Titanic's Gym comapred with Olympic's gym seem to confirm this. So, H&W only took photos of the rooms that were not on Olympic at that time, notably the Cafe Parisien and the extra Suites on B Deck.
 
Jan 31, 2001
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Hello Stuart,

Then the Olympic's lounge statue was restrained to prevent it from falling off in rough seas. This does make sense. From the photograph on that site, as you said, it does appear to have just slid into the slots on the mantle.

The Titanic's "Artemis of Versailles" could have been restrained in the exact same way. Even if it was in the slots, with the angle that the ship was at just before it sank, it would have fallen out anyway.

It would be interesting to find out what happened to the Olympic's statue. My guess is it was sold when the ship was scrapped in 1935. It probably adorned a home after that, and maybe it still does. Perhaps if it is lost it might be found again, just like all that intricately-carved wood that was found in a barn around 1990 from the Olympic.

I'm still going to go with my guess that the Titanic's statue was removed from the debris field. It seems like such a likely target that I don't see how the recovery team could have just left it lying there. If they will take clothes pins that only have the wood remaining, then they surely wouldn't pass up the opportunity to retrieve and display the Titanic's lounge statue.

-B.W.
 
May 2, 2000
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Why on the wreck, there aren´t pics inside of the gym. This section is accessible. I only saw one pic (book of robert ballard) of the window and remainder of a electric camel; but not exist artifacts or some pics about of the gym.
 

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