Arthur Price of England commemorates the Titanic’s centenary by creating the cutlery used in First Class 1912-2012

In April 1912, A. Price & Co. Ltd, as the company was then known, was based in a small factory at Conybere Street, Birmingham. Arthur Price and his employees were celebrating the business’ 10th anniversary with a recent commission to supply their premium quality cutlery for use on board the world’s newest and most opulent ocean liner, RMS Titanic.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s fateful maiden voyage, Arthur Price of England has recreated the Panel Reed cutlery that was used in the First Class accommodation. Each knife features the ship owner, White Star Line’s famous logo on its blade just as they were originally.

Over the years, the interest and intrigue that surrounds the Titanic has not diminished. As the largest passenger liner of its day, built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, there remains an eternal fascination around the tragic story. This was in part fuelled by the long awaited discovery of the ship’s wreck which was finally located on 1st September 1985 and the subsequent expeditions to recover artefacts from 2.5 miles below the surface of the ocean.

Commander Paul-Henri Nargeolet, a co-leader during five separate expeditions to research the Titanic wreck site, was fortunate enough to witness the retrieval of some of Arthur Price’s cutlery from the bed of the Atlantic.

In a letter to Simon Price, great grandson of Arthur Price and current chief executive of the family business, Commander Nargeolet recalls his findings: “I examined recovered silverware from Titanic that I believe are exactly the same silverware as the Dubarry and Panel Reed examples I recently examined produced by your company. The Dubarry was recovered in 1987 from the debris field and the Panel Reed was recovered from one of the Titanic’s copper dishwashers discovered near the stern section of the wreck in 1994.”

The cutlery company’s connection with the ship’s history continued when, prior to the film’s release in 1997, Arthur Price were also approached by the production team of James Cameron’s romantic epic featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. The multi-Oscar winning and highest grossing film of all time (until 2010) used Arthur Price’s Dubarry cutlery during the dining scenes set onboard Titanic.

The Titanic centennial edition comprises of 11 loose pieces of cutlery, as well as, gift boxed hostess pieces that include a cheese knife, pie knife and letter opener. Loose pieces start from £40.00.

Simon Price explains: “The tale of the Titanic has remained in my family for generations. It’s an honour for me to be able to commemorate this historic anniversary and make a tribute to the memory of all those that lost their lives in one of deadliest peacetime maritime disasters. My Great Grandfather built this company on his belief in fine British craftsmanship and uncompromising quality, something we still stand by today. I know he would have been proud of the Panel Reed pieces that we’ve produced. All the items in the centenary collection will be supplied with a personally signed certificate of authentication, so I hope you’ll be happy using this wonderful cutlery. It was Arthur Price’s resolve to produce only the very best that guaranteed the selection of his cutlery for use on the finest areas onboard the ship and although these commemorative pieces are essential items for all Titanic collectors, they are also built for use everyday and to stand the test of time.”

Titanic Facts and Figures

–          Owned by the White Star Line
–          268 meters long
–          46,328 gross tonnage
–          Passengers and crew onboard: 2,228 (Survivors: 705 Perished: 1,523)
–          The cost of a First Class one way ticket around £500 (approx. £35,000 today)
–          Used 825 tons of coal per day to fuel the ship
–          14,000 gallons of fresh water were consumed each day
–          Top speed of 23 knots
–          Titanic took 3 years to build
–          3 million rivets used in the hull
–          57,600 items of crockery
–          29,000 pieces of glassware
–          44,000 pieces of cutlery, weighing more than 4,000lbs

Titanic cargo

–          3,364 bags of mail and approximately 700 parcels
–          One Renault 35 hp automobile owned by passenger William Carter
–          One Marmalade Machine owned by passenger Edwina Trout
–          11 bales of rubber for the National City Bank of New York
–          Eight dozen tennis balls destined for R.F. Downey & Co
–          A cask of china headed for Tiffany’s
–          Five grand pianos
–          Thirty cases of golf clubs and tennis rackets for A.G. Spalding
–          A copy of The Rubáiyát by Omar Khayyám, decorated with 1,500 precious stones Four cases of opium

What was happening in 1912?

January 1st: Republic of China established.
February 2nd: Millvina Dean the youngest Titanic survivor born, she died in 2009
March 7th:
Henri Seimet makes the first non-stop flight from Paris to London in 3 hrs.
March 16th: Lawrence Oates of Scott’s South Pole expedition leaves the tent saying; “I’m just going outside and may be some time.”
April 10th: The ‘unsinkable’ passenger liner RMS Titanic departs from Southampton.
April 14th: Titanic collides with an iceberg at 23.40, in little under three hours she sinks.

April 17th:
A Solar eclipse seen across Europe.
May 5th: The Summer Olympics open in Stockholm, Sweden.
May 15th: The American inquiry into the Titanic disaster concludes, placing the bulk of the blame upon the White Star Line, J. Bruce Ismay and Captain Edward Smith.
June 5th:
US Marines land in Cuba.
July 14th: Woody Gutherie, American folk singer born.
July 15th: The National Insurance Act comes into force introducing NI payments in the UK.
July 30th: Emperor Meiji of Japan dies.
October 14th: Theodore Roosevelt is shot in Milwaukee. With the bullet still in him, Roosevelt delivers his scheduled speech. Later in hospital it is deduced that the speech in his breast pocket probably saved his life.
November 12th: The bodies of Captain Scott and his team found in the Antarctic.
December 18th: The Piltdown Man, thought to be the fossilized remains of an early human, is presented to the Geological Society in London. It is revealed to be a hoax in 1953.

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