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.
Items from RMS Titanic (pre-sinking and recovered) and HMS Bounty.
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.
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.
Again a difficult question because it all is hard to come by. Maybe a small piece of coal from the Titanic for $30.