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Titanic Artifacts

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Related articles: The Wreck of The Titanic, Passengers on the Titanic

Titanic artifacts

A pair of shoes found near the stern of the Titanic in 2004

Pairs of shoes, jewelry, reading glasses and many other artifacts that were found in and around the Titanic wreck are reminders of the tragedy that took place in 1912. These Titanic artifacts are highly sought after, that's why steps were taken to protect the ship wreck.


RMS is the only company granted the rights to recover artifacts and other treasures linked to the Titanic. In 1994, the United States Federal Courts granted them savor-in-possession rights. This allows them to conduct research and recovery expeditions seeking Titanic artifacts, promoting historic significance, and displaying their findings.


Titanic watch

The Titanic was completed in 1911. The commissioned ship built to carry mail between England and United States was unique in that it had all the opulence the first-class passengers expected, yet it carried other cargo to the same destinations.


The first and second class citizenry traveled on the same vessel, but was totally unaware of the other world traveling with them. Many artifacts from these passengers' luggage have been recovered: expensive clothing, jewels, ornate combs, perfumes, etc. This watch on the right is recovered from the body of a steward called Sidney Sedunary.



Salvaging the Titanic

Salvaging the Titanic is a history in the making. The salvage efforts are chronicled though films, video, artistic renditions, and oral recordings of the ship wreck. The personnel is guarded and require extensive background checks and security to work the sites.


The first Titanic artifacts recovered from the arctic waters were sent to France in 1987. That special facility was designed to conserve the artifacts for history. The site is both a conservatory and a research laboratory. Special techniques have been perfected to restore and seal any recovered items. There it goes through the process of restoration and preservation.


Once the artifacts leave the French facility they are bound to Atlanta (Georgia), the headquarters of the RMA. In Atlanta they are organized for posterity in a laboratory. Rescue efforts have reclaimed stairwells, furniture, safes and luggage, many pieces of equipment, kitchen pots, pans and dramatic chandeliers. There are some lovely pieces of jewelry recovered from the Titanic as well.



Titanic artifacts

A piece of cane from a damaged seat, recovered
from floating wreckage of the Titanic.


Several name boards from the lifeboats have been recovered, treated, and placed for sale. Life jackets, seat supports and flags from the lifeboats have been collected and displayed in several traveling displays as well as in the museums.


Titanic lifeboat nameplate

Nameplate of a lifeboat of the Titanic


Interesting and Unique Artifacts

One of the recovered artifacts is a collection of sample perfumes from Adolphe Saalfeld, a perfume maker from England who survived the sinking. He carried with him on the voyage 65 vials of perfume of which 62 have been recovered. They were found on the sea floor in 2000 and plans were made to reproduce the perfumes.


This deck chair (with the original varnish) was auctioned for $77,000. The chair wasn't on the Titanic during its fatal moments. It was given as a souvenir shortly before the Titanic's departure, to a photographer caller Thomas Barker. Mr. Barker initially used it in his garden, but due to the fatal events, he didn't wish to keep it and gave the chair to his housekeeper.


Artifacts from the Titanic - deck chair

The deck chair, worth $77,000


Here are some other artifacts that were recovered:

  • Ticket stubs
  • Bars of soap
  • Stemware
  • Letters from passengers
  • Menus from the last meals served on board
  • Plaques used as signage on the ship
  • Currency
  • Cooking and dining room items like cutlery:

    Titanic artifacts: cutlery

  • Jewelry
  • Clothing, like this pair of children's shoes, a sad reminder of the tragedy:

    Titanic Artifacts: Shoes

  • Reading glasses
  • Passenger lists
  • A liquor bottle
  • Smoking tins
  • Wine bottles


There have been several Titanic Exhibits with actual artifacts on display recovered from the historical ship. Every continent has boasted a viewing of the tragic story of the Titanic and millions of people from all over the world had the honor to witness these artifacts. Make sure to visit a Titanic exhibit when you have the chance, it's really worth your time.


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