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Is this a genuine Titanic document?

Discussion in 'Items that require identification authenticity and' started by Lindyloo Mottsey, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. Hello, this is my first post (2-11-2018),

    My brother is in possession of what looks like a Certificate of Clearance for the Titanic.

    What is the best course of action please?

    He's got an interested buyer in the USA who deals with many Titanic items and that buyer is asking my brother how much does my brother want for his document.

    Some guidance on value. Importance and probability of it being genuine would be greatly appreciated.

    Someone has told him that the whereabouts of two Clearance Certificates are unknown. The other(s) are valuable and in collections somewhere.

    Thank you for any help
  2. A. Gabriel

    A. Gabriel Member

    I am confused as to the stamp in the upper right corner. Titanic was not in Queenstown on the date of 13 April -- she was already well into open ocean by then. So how is it that the stamp bears this date?

    I see the certificate itself was filled out on the 11th, when Titanic was in Queenstown. But why the delay in getting it stamped?

    Also, for a supposedly 106-year old document it sure looks relatively un-yellowed, as though the paper had not aged. How can this be? Has the provenance of the document been traced?
  3. Aaron_2016

    Aaron_2016 Guest

    Welcome to the forum. Would certainly be valuable if it is original. Best guess would be to locate a similar document that was made around that same time using that type of paper and compare the two which might help to determine of it is an original.

    Depends on the quality of paper. Some have a wax coating which preserves their condition. I went to the National Archives in England and they had original legal documents from a century ago and yet the paper was still a bright white and the pencil and pen marks looked fresh despite being stored away for over a century. My guess is, legal documents were designed to last a very long time.

    e.g. Looking inside two envelopes from 1918.




    A century ago yet the paper was still white. The texture of the paper was hard, like folded card. Perhaps this preserved it's colour?

  4. It is a facsimile.
  5. Great feedback everyone, thank you.
    I'll look into all those suggestions.
    I must say I've read more about the Titanic this month than ever. Always loved it, and now an intrigued by it all.
  6. PS the provenance is not determined very well at this stage.

    The paper is not a regular modern size.
    It doesn't appear to be waxy, but I cannot say for sure.
    It was found at a deceased estate with other Titanic documents of slightly lesser interest.
    There was other paperwork regarding the Luxor Hotel casino in Las Vegas with it. The Luxor has an impressive Titanic display.
    The failed sale of a similar document was in 2012, with a reserve of $25-50 thousand at an auction house.

    I'll keep looking around...any further suggestions appreciated.
  7. Dave Gittins

    Dave Gittins Member

    In around 1997, riding on the back of Cameron's flick, a number of collections of reproduced documents were sold. This copy could well be from one of those. The original is safely in the National Archive. There used to be CDs with piles of documents on them, but I don't know if they are still around. Anybody could print them out and age them a bit.

    Any documents need to be treated with caution. The standard of reproduction can be very high. I have a postcard sent from Queenstown by one of the crew. It's so well made that it looks genuine. A few years ago, somebody tried to make a copy look more realistic by sticking a real 1912 stamp on it. They didn't get away with it, because the postmark on the stamp didn't line up with the postmark on the stamp printed on the reproduction.

    Then there's my picture of Titanic, signed by Millvina Dean. Very realistic, but a reproduction. Caveat emptor!
    Michael H. Standart likes this.
  8. Wow, thanks. Yes let the buyer beware, for sure.
    I'm about to call my brother and let him know.
  9. Questions?

    Is it legal to sell a facsimile if declared a facsimile?

    What sort of ball-park prices for a document like that?
  10. Following up our conversations here...... The document my brother holds is definitively thicker paper than the average paper. The size of the paper is NOT A4.
    The Box Set from Random House Publishers has a facsimile of an original Certificate for Clearance, but it is decidedly different to the one my brother has. My question is this, if its a fake, why do such a bad fake?
    If its real, how can I find out? Are there any missing documents of this description?
    Many thanks
  11. Dave Gittins

    Dave Gittins Member

    I at last found a copy of the real certificate. What you have is very definitely a copy, and not a very good one. The original has very ragged edges, particularly on both sides.
  12. Hello, thank you for your detective work. I expected it to be a copy.
    Do you have a web link or a picture of the ragged edged original document?
    Much thanks, Linda.