Quite a Bounty in Marin

Marin Magazine Titanic
1. Sheet music recovered from the body of Wallace Hartley, the bandleader on the RMS Titanic. He preserved the sheet music inside his violin case; 2. Ax for the HMS Bounty; 3. Cannonball; 4. Swivel gun ball; 5. Nails from the Bounty; 6. Striker from the Bounty; 7. Valance bar from the Bounty (weighs ~60 lbs); 8. White Star Line forks; 9. White Star Line letter opener; 10. Spode R4331 (one of two in the world); 11. Necklace from Pitcairn Island; 12. Wood from the Bounty; 13. Oar lock from the Bounty; 14. Funeral card from England for a Titanic passenger; 15. Glass from the SS Andrea Doria; 16. Pre-Titanic White Star Line plate; 17. Kosher White Star Line plate; 18. Olympic Brochure (there are no photos of the Titanic –– the Titanic and the Olympic looked exactly the same so all the photos used were of the Olympic)

STEPPING INTO THE Audio Video Integration retail space on Francisco Boulevard in San Rafael, one might be surprised to come across the artifacts of life on planet Earth curated by owner Tony Probst. Although you’ll find a wide range of items, including petrified pterodactyl droppings and a check signed by Jack London, the centerpiece of this nonchalant museum is Probst’s assortment of nautical gems: here for all to see is an extensive collection of pieces and trinkets all the way from the warm waters of the South Pacific (HMS Bounty) to the frigid North Atlantic (RMS Titanic). Probst found most of the objects; others were gifted to him or purchased from auctions. If you can’t make it into his shop, check out titaniccollector.com.


Tony Probst


Items from RMS Titanic (pre-sinking and recovered) and HMS Bounty.

Years collecting 

About 40 years. The first major piece was a nail from the Bounty. It was a gift from Lois Marden of National Geographic, acquired while he was in Tahiti.

How many pieces?

600-plus major pieces and 2,000– 3,000 minor pieces.


I grew up sailing around the world with my family and have always been around people associated with the sea.


That is a difficult one. It changes from day to day, but if I had to choose, it would be the sheet music recovered from the body of Wallace Hartley, the bandleader on the Titanic. The sheet music was in his violin case on his back floating in the North Atlantic for 10 days before his body was discovered.

Highest-priced item?

Since most are one of a kind, there are no comparables, but there is the sentimental value that gets in the way of reality, so how about one billion dollars.

Lowest-prices item?

Again a difficult question because it all is hard to come by. Maybe a small piece of coal from the Titanic for $30.

Mimi Towle

Mimi Towle has been the editor of Marin Magazine for over a decade. She lived with her family in Sycamore Park and Strawberry and thoroughly enjoyed raising two daughters in the mayhem of Marin’s youth sports; soccer, swim, volleyball, ballet, hip hop, gymnastics and many many hours spent at Miwok Stables. Her community involvements include volunteering at her daughter’s schools, coaching soccer and volleyball (glorified snack mom), being on the board of both Richardson Bay Audubon Center. Currently residing on a floating home in Sausalito, she enjoys all water activity, including learning how to steer a 6-person canoe for the Tamalpais Outrigger Canoe Club. Born and raised in Hawaii, her fondness for the islands has on occasion made its way into the pages of the magazine.