RMS Titanic Davit Base and Arm

Atlanta, GA

Our conservation team worked closely with Premier Exhibitions, Inc., the salvor-in-possession of the R. M. S. Titanic, to preserve the collection of nearly 5,500 artifacts recovered from the wreck site. We provided conservation treatment of objects, as well as design and fabrication of display mounts.

Artifacts that presented some of the greatest challenges for conservation and display were the ship’s fittings, which can be very large but may have become fragile from deterioration of the iron and steel. We treated the Davit arm and base, which consisted of massive iron castings with carefully milled steel and brass fittings. They tell a poignant tale of the Titanic’s sinking. Used to lower the ship’s life rafts, one side of the base shows the screw for the arm in its lowered position while the other is still raised, revealing that one of the few too little lifeboats that could have saved lives was not lowered.

Additionally, we design an exhibition mounting that could hold the Davit arm in its extended position and display it as if it were attached to the Davit base. The mount supported the massive castings and cantilevered the arm from the base. This support was not visually obstructive, reduced any possible damage to the fragile artifacts, and was capable of ready assembly and disassembly at numerous exhibition sites. An iron frame was fabricated and welded together to maintain the industrial character of the artifact, and a carefully machined base was constructed of steel.