Artefacts

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Our Policy

To date, we have decided not to include artefacts from the Titanic Wreck Site and Debris Field for ethical reasons. Our strategic partner Dr Robert Ballard who discovered RMS Titanic's wreck in 1985 shares this view and for this reason artefacts salvaged from Titanic do not currently form part of our exhibition. If an opportunity arose to further preserve or safeguard artefacts, this would be considered on a case by case basis.

The Titanic Experience does contain many other original artefacts some of which are detailed below, along with other fascinating items of cultural and historical interest. 

H&W Gates and Time Clock

Original 19th Century Harland & Wolff gates are on display in Boomtown Belfast, along with a magnificent Time Clock from the Harland & Wolff Drawing Offices.

H&W Time Clock H W Gates2

Promotional Brochure

A rare Olympic and Titanic promotional brochure is on display in The Fit Out.

Brochure

White Star China

Original White Star tableware is on display, and you can see how different types of china and tableware were supplied for each class of passenger.

First class passengers were provided with fine bone china, second class passengers dined from blue and white delft china bearing the White Star logo and third class tableware was white with the white star red logo. 

Table Ware3

Dr Simpson Letter

Belfast-born assistant ship’s surgeon Dr John Simpson wrote a letter to his mother which was brought ashore at Queenstown (Cobh), Co Cork, during the vessel’s last stop. Dr Simpson died when the Titanic sank on 15th April 1912.
 
It was feared the message, written on notepaper headed RMS Titanic, would never return to Belfast after it was put up for auction in New York with a reserve price of $34,000 (€27,000). Belfast Maritime Trust (then named Titanic Foundation), the charitable group which owns the building, stepped in to buy the item for display within the Titanic Experience.
 
The unique document reaffirms the emotional relationship and the ties the city has with the telling of the worldwide story that is the Titanic. It is only a small piece of paper but the letter offers of a glimpse of the enormity of the human tragedy – the last words of a devoted son to his Belfast mum.
TB NOV2015 1013 SML

Last Luncheon Menu

The last lunch menu that First Class passengers enjoyed on the day the ship struck an iceberg is currently on display in The Maiden Voyage.

The rare artefact, believed to have been bought for $122,000 (€94,300), has been generously loaned to Titanic Belfast by Rupert Hunt, owner of Spareroom.com who bought it from the Dodge family, who had it in their possession since the ship went down.

The luncheon menu belonged to passenger Ruth Dodge, the wife of Dr Washington Dodge. On its reverse, a hand-written note from a ship steward, who knew the family, reads, "With compliments & best wishes from Frederic Dent Ray, 56 Palmer Park, Reading, Berks.”

This was a very fortuitous friendship as it was Mr Ray who ensured the Dodge family on board Titanic survived the disaster. Mr Ray was a steward who had been ordered to take charge of one of the Titanic’s lifeboats with 30 children aboard. While the rule was women and children first, the steward, who knew Dr Dodge from previous voyages, encouraged him into the lifeboat to help the distressed youngsters. His wife and son had already left the ship on another lifeboat.
 
The menu gives an interesting insight into luxury dining on Titanic!
Titanic Lunch Menu Wide Titanic Lunch Menu Detail

Esther & Eva Hart Letter

The last letter ever to be written on board Titanic, which sold at auction for a world record sum of £119,000, is now on display at Titanic Belfast.

The historic artefact was written by Essex-born Esther Hart and her seven-year-old daughter Eva, who both survived the ship’s sinking, just eight hours before the ship hit an iceberg and sank in April 1912 but it was never sent. Intended for her mother in Chadwell Heath, the letter only survived because it was in the pocket of her husband’s coat which he had given her to keep warm. He was one of over 1,500 people to die in the disaster.

The letter has been loaned to us by Scottish businessman Garreth Wood and his wife Nicola, long-time Titanic enthusiasts who recently bought it from the auction buyer.

Eva Hart Letter Close Up Esther Hart Letter

Titanic Plan

The most expensive Titanic artefact ever sold at auction, regarded as the 'Holy Grail of Titanic memorabilia', is the 33-foot wide (10m 05cm) Indian ink and colour washed plan currently on display at Titanic Belfast.

The plan was prepared by White Star’s Naval Architects’ Department for use at the Wreck Commissioner’s Court of Inquiry into the loss of Titanic in order to assist witnesses and members of the Court during the Inquiry. 

Like a world in miniature, Titanic’s longitudinal plan contains a wealth of detail. For example, a few minutes spent studying the layout of the 3rd Class passenger accommodation reveals another inbuilt problem - how do these passengers reach the Boat Deck in an emergency?

Find more fascinating history on the plan with our Titanic Stories - Titanic Plan: From Skip to Saleroom.

Titanic Plan 2 Titanic Plan 1

Lord Pirrie's Watch

The 18ct. gold pocket watch that was the personal property of Lord William James Alexander Pirrie, Chairman of Harland and Wolff, is on display in the Titanic Experience Launch gallery. 

Pirrie had a reputation for overseeing all elements of construction and it was together with J. Bruce Ismay that he conceived the idea of the Olympic Class of liners. 

The watch is fully hallmarked 1890 and is engraved 'W.J.A. Pirrie'. It is quite likely that Lord Pirrie was wearing it during the period of Titanic's construction, possibly at the famous meeting of summer 1907 at Downshire House in Belgravia where the plans for Olympic, Titanic and Britannic were first formulated, as well being likely that Pirrie wore the watch at Titanic's launch.

The watch carries a watchmaker's stamp for Robert Neill of Belfast, a very well respected Jeweller and watchmaker, together with the name of the retailer James Morrison.

V19A4293 V19A4061

Launch Day Tickets

RMS Titanic VIP Launch Ticket

An extremely rare VIP ticket for the launch of RMS Titanic which still has its perforated stub is on display in the Launch gallery in the Titanic Experience. The recipient of this ticket no. 1342, Captain Alexander Matier, was unable to attend the launch. According to Henry Aldridge & Sons it is said to be one of the most desirable launch tickets and is believed to be the only one of this calibre known.

RMS Titanic VIP Launch Ticket Stub

This ticket stub, No. 116, was issued to Charlotte Brennan, a Harland and Wolff employee. The reverse of the stub contains shorthand manuscript notes (presumably added by Brennan) with details of the disaster. Memorabilia relating to the launch is very unusual but it is exceptionally rare to offer a ticket stub that can be directly traced to the individual who attended the launch with an intimate connection to Titanic’s construction.

Charlotte Brennan Ticket Stub V19A4113

The Titanic Experience

The Titanic Experience is the world’s most authentic retelling of the iconic story.

The self-guided tour extends over nine interactive galleries where you discover the sights, sounds, smells and stories of the ship, as well as the people and city that made her.

The Titanic Experience

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