Auction piece Real

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Kevin Saucier

Former Member
Here is an example of a high-end auction house selling a "very questionable" item:

When asked about the rhinestone button purportedly worn by a survivor, here is the provenance they provided from the consignor. I was also told they did not check the history and trusted the documentation:


<font color="blue">This is not a prop from the motion picture Titanic

It is a real piece of Titanic history

I am offering a very ornate button that was owned by a survivor of the Titanic. This buttons history is traced back to a couple that lived in Boston, Mass. I had originally been informed that the family name was Hopper but this is not the case. This button adorned a jacket owned by a first class passenger named Mrs. Harris. We believe that Mrs. Harris had traveled with her maid that had the last name Hopper and the first name Mary.

After the tragic event Mrs. Harris moved to Maryland and lived out the remainder of her life until her death at the age of 77.

The button has small blue gemstones....some are missing.

We are not sure how this happened, but rumors were told to me that it quite possibly happened the very night Titanic sank (this is not a certain fact)


Sadly, even after supplied with endless links and irrefutable historical evidence that the broach cannot be as claimed, they are still going ahead with the auction and without any disclosure.

Kevin, I was watching that listing as well. I've dealt with Mastro for awhile, both through purchases and consignments and I, too, felt this listing was questionable.

I'd love to see what you sent them as I will speak to them as well. If this is not legitimate, they should pull it.

Mark S. Zaid, Esq.
[email protected]
Not the first time a large and "reputable" auction house has refused to listen to facts and has gone ahead with a dubious sale item.

And sadly, it won't be the last.

When money is the motivator, anything is possible.

Steve Santini

Kevin Saucier

Former Member
Well Mark and I tried to do everything in our power to stop the auction but it sold nonetheless.

What a shame that they choose money over authenticity...or even a disclosure. This is a good example that questions should be asked regardless of how large or reputable an auction house is or what they claim in their authenticity statement.

Somehow I think the fight is not over. Many thanks Mark for your help and partnership.

Hi Kevin,

Yes you are in right, there are to many "very
questionable" items on the MARKET.When money is the motivator anything is possible as Mr.Santini
told.So open your eyes.But dont`t forget the
money is central motivator for all us especialy
for people who are not related at all with
The Titanic tragedy.

My great-grand-father didn`t buy ticket for the
haven just for New York, boarded at Southampton
but his gold plated eyeglases originaly property
saved,just like he was, are very qiestionable
relic from Titanic, do you know why?
Because there are to litle authentic relics today
but there are to many questiaonable people.
Beside,I have heard fantastic information about
him for egsample that he have never been passanger
at maiden voayage, or he didn`t never wearing
glasses. Please read Mr. Nikola LULIC biography
at ET, it`s a official record.


Kevin Saucier

Former Member
Your thoughts on this auction?

I won't be bidding on this, since the last time (see above) Mastronet auctioned some "highly questionable" items from none other than Profiles-in-History. They kept the auction going and eventually sold them to some unsuspecting collector...even after they were told there was no supporting evidence that the passenger listed in their description ever existed.

Now we have a new auction. For the experts and detectives specializing in these items, what are your thoughts and opinions?

Kevin Saucier
Kevin, I saw this exact same item, or at the very least a duplicate of it, on eBay earlier this year. I don't doubt that the plate and spoon are genuine White Star relics, but as for having come from the Titanic, well....... let the buyer beware!!

Kevin Saucier

Former Member
Jason, too bad you couldn't pull up that auction.

Perhaps I will call them and ask for the exact details regarding the provenance. They are usually pretty good with that.

Would others like to join in? Customer service - (630) 472-1200

Kevin Saucier
Kevin, I had the eBay auction 'saved' on my 'watch list' and I went back to see if it was still there. As you probably know, after a few months, the listings are no longer 'saved', and drop off ~ which was unfortunately the case with this one. I DO remember that the auction and "Buy It Now" price was for considerably less than what it is currently up for on the site you posted here. I wonder if someone bought it on eBay and is now re-selling it for more, or if the item in question never sold in the first place and now the original seller is seeking a new market venue? Interesting.

Kevin Saucier

Former Member
Nice work!

Sure gets one to thinking. The realized price states lot #169 sold for $20K (wonder if it sold?). Next you see it on ebay BIN for less than the Mastro opening bid of $7.5K.

For the china experts...the original auction (Jason's find) mentions the registration numbers pre-date Titanic with a date of 1898. Is this possible from reg numbers alone and would china from 14 years prior be used on Titanic?

Did the first class desert spoons have the WSL emblem on the handle? I have seen other FC utensils with simple small stars. Wouldn't they all match? I dunno.

the two registration numbers are for the pattern and design, it is the date this pattern was first registered for use, not the date this actual plate was made, like a patient. White Star used this "wisteria pattern for years before Titanic sailed
The registration numbers for the plate simply indicate when the pattern and design of the china itself was registered with the British patent office. There are two numbers for this particular china pattern, "117214" & "324028". Most pieces regardless of whether they are a plate, cup, saucer, etc, have these same two numbers marked on their bottoms. In addition to the registration numbers mentioned above, there is often (but not always) a date, for example, "9/1904" or "12/1903" or "3/1911" hand painted below the registration numbers. The date presumably indicates the date of actual manufacture for that individual piece.

Many collectors believe that the date cypher "3/1911" is a pretty good indication that the piece was made for the RMS Olympic, although most likely, not all of the pieces with that date would have gone solely to the Olympic. The date cypher "3/1912" is presumed to be the magic date for pieces meant for the Titanic, although again, a number of pieces with this date are around today and were clearly not on the Titanic.

First class silver cutlery for the main dining saloon was made by Elkington, and yes, all spoons, some forks, and a number of individual serving utensils were made in a simple pattern with a single raised star on the front of the handle. The registration number for this pattern is "579752" indicating that this cutlery pattern was first registered in 1911. This pattern was laid on the tables jointly with the "Reed and Star" pattern (Rd579791) used for some forks, all knives, and a few other miscellaneous serving utensils. The "Reed and Star" pattern was also first registered in 1911, and many collectors believe that these two new cutlery patterns were created specifically for the new Olympic Class liners (although, again, the patterns were to be used on other ships as well, but their issue coincided with the maiden voyage of Olympic, and they were first stocked new on Olympic and Titanic (there are many pieces in both patterns recovered from the Titanic wreck site). These same two cutlery patterns were produced for the WSL by several different manufacturers over the years up until WSL's merger with Cunard in the 1930's.

The earlier cutlery pieces made by Elkington are very easy to date. Elkington's alphabetical letter dating system is very simple, and most pieces, in addition to having a registration number, have a date code as well. Many (but not all) Elkington WSL pieces with a date code of 1911 are, again, thought to have been made for the Olympic, while pieces dated both 1911 as well as 1912 are thought to have been made for the Titanic. Anything with a later date code would obviously NOT have been on-board the Titanic.

So..... finding the likely date code on the spoon in this auction would either still keep us puzzled, or debunk the whole thing as a sham. Likewise for the plate, if the plate has a date at all.

Kevin Saucier

Former Member
I understand about the reg numbers but wasn't sure which pieces had dates. Apparently the plate in this auction is dateless. Ah, but the spoon would have the hallmark stamped on the back (I'll try to get that info). Also, from Jason's details it should have a star as opposed the stated flag emblem....correct?

*On a side note, never thought about it until now but seems I should get a cutlery piece for my collection...just not this one.

Kevin Saucier
Hi Kevin, many WSL cutlery pieces also have just a plain rounded handle with an engraved WSL flag on them. This pattern was around long before the Titanic set sail, and was around long after as well - although it was not used much in first class post Titanic.

Some of the 579792 "Raised Star" pieces ALSO have an engraved WSL flag on the BACK of the handle, as do many of the 579791 "Reed and Star" pieces.

All this can be rather confusing, I know. However, if the spoon in this auction was made by Elkington as most pieces on Titanic were, then it is highly likely to have a date code letter which might shed some light here.

*Yes! You can ask Santa (Father Christmas, your Significant Other, etc.) for a genuine WSL cutlery piece for Christmas.
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