Titanic Bronze Plaque for review


Jul 14, 2020
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Hi. I have recently purchased this beautiful bronze Art Nouveau sign with TITANIC in a very unusual font. The bronze plaque measures about a metre in length and is mounted on a fine heavy oak frame. Does anybody have any idea of its origin?
Thanks & regards
John
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Jul 14, 2020
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Hi William
Thanks very much. It is stunning and very nicely made. However, I am at a loss as to how to find where it might have come from. Given its decorative appearance, it could perhaps have come from a waiting room or office, maybe at the White Star offices. There maybe similar examples for the Olympic or Britannic, somewhere
Kind regards
Juan
 
Jun 9, 2020
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What a nice piece! Unfortunately, I sincerely doubt that it was every aboard the RMS Titanic. Here's the problem; that typeface, or font, was originally "designed by Louis Minott. Winner of a VGC (Visual Graphics Corporation) competition in 1965 and released as Davida Bold. Possibly inspired by Victorian-era designs such as Hogarth (Central, ca. 1887). Mecanorma had it as Silva. Formatt’s alias was Darling." (ref. Fonts-In-Use, An independent archive of typography)

Further research into the possible inspiring fonts shows that there is no mistaking them as a possible match. Sorry to say that your newly acquired bronze plaque is not directly related to our beautiful ship.
 

William Oakes

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Mar 6, 2020
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I'm wondering if it wasn't in use somewhere at Harland & Wolff while the ship was being built. What ever the back story is, that thing is incredibly cool.
It wood look magnificent in a pub and looks like it came out of one in Southampton! If you ever decide to sell it, let's talk!
 

TimTurner

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Dec 11, 2012
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The construction looks much earlier than 1965 onwards.
I'm going to have to back up Joseph Lewinski here. That font is exceptionally close to Davida, which didn't exist before 1965. Therefore, it couldn't have been used to make a sign before then. The odds of someone else "inventing" the font prior to that are pretty slim - far more likely someone used a primitive construction method than time traveled and used a font that hadn't been invented yet.

Your best bet is to try to find foundry marks and trace it that way. From the pictures, and the fact that you've dismantled it, I'd guess that there are no foundry marks.

Second bet is to try to source it by the chain of ownership. Where did you buy it? Where did they find it? Who owned it before that? etc. You probably don't have to trace it far, since it is almost certainly no older than 1965.

I don't see anything like the Davida font in any Titanic documentation (although my search is hardly thorough). White Star literature has a very heavy tendency to favor san-serif fonts, so not likely produced by them before or after. That fact, and that it's a large metal piece (and therefore would have had to be attached to Titanic, pried off, and carried into the lifeboats) means that you can bet safely that it was not ever onboard Titanic, and certainly did not sail on her.
 

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