Re: Titanic plates.
To date, research I and others have done shows that there were only two patterns of china which were unique and exclusive to Titanic. One was a pattern made by Royal Crown Derby and another was a pattern made by Spode Copeland with the registry number R4332. As far as the other china patterns carried by Titanic, they were all common service pieces which were the same patterns used by every other White Star Line ship of the era. Spode records show that on March 14th, 1911, two very special china patterns were ordered by Stoniers, White Star Lines' china brokerage agents. One of these patterns was registry number R4331 and the other was R4332. Both of these patterns were made in VERY limited numbers, (perhaps as little as 190 pieces per pattern), and both sported unique and delicate designs in cobalt blue with gold edge work. Given the registry numbers of the patterns, it is only logical to conclude that R4331 was specially designed for Olympic, and R4332 was specially designed for Titanic. Pieces of R4331 have shown up on the public market designated as having come from Olympic and pieces of R4332 have been found on the Titanic wreck site (no pieces of R4331 have been found on the wreck site so this would logically support the contention that one special cobalt and gold pattern was made for Olympic and a seperate one was made for Titanic). One of the problems that exists with any of the china purported to have been taken from Titanic following her sea trials is that none of it is in the two special patterns made for Titanic by either Crown Derby or Spode. Rather, many the NUMEROUS plates said to have been taken of the Titanic by a one Mr. Bull are of the generic White Star patterns such as Spode "Greek key", Stonier "Celtic", and the very common "Blue Finger' pattern, etc. So, there is no way to know for sure if any of the plates purported to have been removed from Titanic were actually ever on, or even made for the ship. Add to this the sheer illogical stance of someone taking a QUANTITY of china off of the ship when if fact the ship was being OUTFITTED with just such items in preparation for her maiden voyage, and it readilly becomes obvious why many people around the globe are having an increasingly hard time buying the story that one man who worked for White Star walked off the ship with a quantity of table ware. Heap on top of this the fact that we have never heard of such a thing happening following the sea trials of any other White Star ship, (i.e. someone walking off with an arm load of china. Why just the Titanic? Did someone know it was going to sink?), and the "provenance" of these alleged "Titanic plates" falls apart altogether. While it is true some items (in very limited quantity) were indeed taken from the ship before she sailed and even at her ports of call, it is the opinion of many serious Titanic researchers and collectors that these numerous Titanic dinner plates "taken off following the sea trials" do not abide with sufficient provenance which would in any way link them to, or put them on, Titanic. Kind regards, Steve Santini.