Exclusive crockery produced more than 100 years ago for use by passengers on the Titanic has been discovered in a Sutton Coldfield home. The cup and saucer, with a cobalt blue and gilt, was made by ‘liner china’ firm Spode for Stonier & Co in Liverpool.
It has a distinctive design with the pattern number R4332 made for first-class passengers who set sail on the ill-fated liner. The demitasse coffee cup and saucer was found in the Four Oaks area of Sutton and was produced around 1911, a year before the doomed ship set sail.
Both pieces are marked “White Star Line” and with “Spode Copeland’s China England”, the former shipping company which operated the Titanic and the latter the Stoke-on-Trent pottery firm which made them. The well of the saucer has the gilt monogram for the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company and the cup is stamped ‘Stonier & Co Liverpool’ – the agents which agreed the deal between Spode and the shipping company.
The pattern is believed to have been used on crockery in Titanic’s first-class restaurant but some experts suggest it was produced in such limited numbers that it may only have been used for room service on private promenade suites. The cup and saucer are estimated to fetch between £800 and £1,200 when they go under the hammer at Richard Winterton Auctioneers in Lichfield on Wednesday, February 15.
Sarah Williams, senior valuer at the auctioneers, said: “It’s incredible to hold this cup and saucer and think of first-class passengers sipping coffee on the Titanic. This example has a few small chips and wear commensurate with age but the pieces really are in remarkable condition for such delicate ceramics over 110 years old.
“There are conflicting theories as to whether the same pattern or one extremely similar, named R4331, was also used on Titanic’s sister ship Olympic, which was broken up in 1935.”