Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

New Titanic relics on show for first time

By Susannah Palk for CNN
  • New objects salvaged from the Titanic are currently on display in London
  • Artifacts include a postcard of London's Houses of Parliament and sheet music
  • The items were retrieved from the Titanic's debris field on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean

London, England (CNN) -- They sat at the bottom of the ocean for nearly a century. Now 14 objects not seen since the Titanic sank to her watery grave in 1912 are on display in a new exhibition.

The recently salvaged paper artifacts -- which include a postcard of London's Houses of Parliament, handwritten sheet music, a U.S. $5 bill and a Ceylon British 5-cent stamp -- are part of the "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition" in London.

The new items are being shown alongside hundreds of other previously exhibited relics from the Titanic, helping to recreate a fuller picture of what life was like on the luxury cruise ship.

"We have over 300 artifacts on display, ranging from parts of the ship to personal effects of passengers and crew," said Cheryl Mure, vice president of education for RMS Titanic, the organizer of the exhibition.

Some of these pieces are in remarkable condition and give us a fascinating view of the maiden voyage.
--Cheryl Mure

Retrieved from the Titanic's debris field -- four kilometers below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean -- items on show include glass perfume bottles, a gold pocket watch, clothing such as top hats and shoes, leather cases, vases, cutlery and crockery.

Visitors can also see the ship's famous wheel, a porthole and part of the Titanic's great hull, reclaimed from the ocean floor.

RMS Titanic has organized exhibits in the United States and Europe before, but the exhibit at London's O2 is the first time the new paper objects have been publicly displayed.

"The artifacts tell the story of life in 1912," Mure told CNN. "They offer a magnificent snapshot of the Edwardian era and the segregation of the classes at the time."

The most striking example, says Mure, is the ship's recovered China service.

While first-class passengers ate from a hand-painted dining service decorated with gold rope rigging, third-class travelers and crew ate from plain white bowls stamped with the ship's "White Star Line" brand.

"Some of these pieces are in remarkable condition and give us a fascinating view of the maiden voyage," Mure said.

In addition to the artifacts, recreations of the ship's first- and third-class cabins, boiler room and captain's bridge are also on display.

The famous RMS Titanic sank on April 15, 1912 after striking an iceberg on her maiden voyage from Southampton in southern England to New York. More than 1,500 people died.

"The Titanic story is so compelling," said Mure. "There's the story of the ship itself -- the biggest, the largest, the grandest, the most luxurious. And then there's the story of the passengers and crew."

"Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition" runs until May 2011.