Titanic dinner menu for passengers sells for £80k after surviving tragedy
A dinner menu from the Titanic's first-class passengers has fetched a whopping £80,000 at auction.
The menu, which included oysters, beef, spring lamb and mallard duck, was served on April 11, 1912, as the ill-fated ship journeyed from Queenstown in Ireland to New York. Over 1,500 passengers and crew tragically lost their lives when the Titanic hit an iceberg on April 14 and sank the next day.
The menu, measuring 6.25ins x 4.25ins, features an embossed red White Star Line burgee and originally had gilt lettering showing the initials OSNC (Ocean Steamship Navigation Company) alongside RMS Titanic.
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Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said: "The latter shows signs of water immersion having been partially erased, the reverse of the menu also clearly displays further evidence of this." He added that this suggests the menu may have been exposed to the icy North Atlantic waters on the morning of April 15, either with a survivor or found on one of those who perished.
He concluded: "Having spoken to the leading collectors of Titanic memorabilia globally and consulted with numerous museums with Titanic collections, we can find no other surviving examples of a first-class April 11 dinner menu." He described the menu as a "The menu is a remarkable survivor from the most famous ocean liner of all time."
Among the first-class passengers onboard the Titanic were multi-millionaire John Jacob Astor, millionaire Benjamin Guggenheim, Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff Gordon, and socialite Molly Brown. The menu was found in a photo album from the 1960s after the passing of historian Len Stephenson by his daughter and son-in-law.
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Mr Stephenson, who was passionate about the history of his hometown Dominion in Nova Scotia, collected and preserved many records. The menu was auctioned at Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes, Wiltshire on Saturday and fetched a whopping £84,000.
Other items that went under the hammer included a Swiss-made pocket watch owned by second-class Titanic passenger Sinai Kantor, which sold for £97,000. A tartan-patterned deck blanket from first class, likely used during the rescue of passengers, raked in £96,000.
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