I was visiting a family friend late last year, when he revealed to me his own discovery. A promotional sign from a travel agent's office from long ago.
This was not just any cruise liner. The Aquitania has a long history and set or broke many records during her nearly 40 year service. Among those achievements were: contributing to efforts during both WWI and WWII (both times afterward she was returned to commercial service), and logging over 3 million miles at sea.
This approximately 4' x 5' sign could be as old as the ship's launch date in 1913, or it more likely was hanging in an agent's office with other big ships of the Cunard line in the 1920's (Mauritania, and not the Lusitania - sunk in 1915) where an agent could point and say "You're booked on that one right there. "
Painted on sheet metal the sign is awash in its own unique petina - the kind you neither should or could remove. It's as beautiful as the ship was itself. Read more on wikipedia here.
Thanks Chet! for sharing this with me.