Deals From The DarksideEpisodes

Titanic Deck Chair
Season 1 - Episode 1
Titanic Deck Chair

Steve Santinihas a passion for antiques with a past. He and his crew (researcher Stef and driver Rob) scour the land in search of artifacts of some of the most gruesome events in history.

While following a lead on a piece of hangman's rope – a prize Steve has coveted his whole life – Steve comes across a funerary box with a lock of human hair in it. He knows he can sell the $100 item for $300, and wastes no time adding it to his purchase of a centuries-old partial noose from Tyburn Gallows. The noose will make a perfect addition to the collection he's leasing to a museum exhibit on torture devices.

But the big prize is a deck chair from the Titanic – yes, that Titanic. Steve does the initial appraisal and notices that the chair is missing the star carved into the headboard that was the signature of the White Star Line that ran the Titanic. The collector wants $80,000, a price that Steve can't swallow without some outside verification.

Steve asks Stef to research the chair, paying particular attention to the manufacturer's stamp: R. Holman. Steve meanwhile visits John Ellin, an antiques expert who tells him that the chair could be authentic, but could just as easily be a fake. Digging deeper, Steve takes the chair to psychic consultant Miki, who notes right off that the chair has some tragedy imbued in it. When Steve shows her a manifest of the passengers aboard the Titanic, she points right to the name of Charlotte Appleton, a woman who Stef confirms was on the deck at the moment of impact, and survived by getting to a lifeboat in time.

This is promising, but Steve needs a little more information before he buys the chair. He and Rob go to the Titanic Museum in Branson, Missouri, a nearly to-scale replica of the famous ocean liner. Craig Sopin, Titanic artifact historian, has the deck log for the S.S. Mackay Bennett, a rescue/salvage ship commissioned by the White Star Line, and it states that it did salvage many deck chairs on its voyage.

Back home, Stef has even more good news: A photo from the ship's deck shows a chair that was not stamped with the telltale star. Moreover, the manufacturer, R. Holman, did indeed make chairs for this famous vessel. They have an authentic piece on their hands.
An elated Steve goes to bargain with the owner, saying he's happy to buy it, but not for the $80,000 asking price. When it looks like Steve will walk out on the deal, the owner agrees to Steve's offer of $40,000, and history is made.

Tell us what you think about your favorite NBCU programs by becoming a TV panel member.