Titanic first-class menu that survived famous shipwreck sells for more than £80,000 at auction

12 November 2023, 20:15 | Updated: 12 November 2023, 20:34

An evening dinner menu for first-class passengers onboard the Titanic has sold for more than £80,000 at auction.
An evening dinner menu for first-class passengers onboard the Titanic has sold for more than £80,000 at auction. Picture: Getty

By Chay Quinn

A water-damaged first-class evening dinner menu from the Titanic has sold for more than £80,000 at auction.

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The menu was for a dinner served on oysters, beef, spring lamb and mallard duck was served on the evening of April 11, 1912 - three days before the ship struck an iceberg and sank the following day.

More than 1,500 passengers and crew died when the Titanic struck an iceberg on the evening of April 14.

The 6.25ins x 4.25ins menu bears an embossed red White Star Line burgee and would have originally shown gilt lettering depicting the initials OSNC (Ocean Steamship Navigation Company) alongside the lettering RMS Titanic.

RMS Titanic
RMS Titanic. Picture: Alamy

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.

"This would point to the menu having been subjected to the icy North Atlantic waters on the morning of April 15 either having left the ship with a survivor who was exposed to those cold sea waters or recovered on the person of one of those lost.

"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.

"The menu is a remarkable survivor from the most famous ocean liner of all time."

A member of staff from the Auction house Aldridge and Son holds an original Titanic menu
A member of staff from the Auction house Aldridge and Son holds an original Titanic menu. Picture: Alamy

Among the first-class passengers onboard the Titanic was multi-millionaire John Jacob Astor, millionaire Benjamin Guggenheim, Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff Gordon and socialite Molly Brown.

The menu was discovered in a photo album from the 1960s after the passing of the late Len Stephenson by his daughter and son-in-law.

Mr Stephenson was a keen historian of his hometown Dominion in Nova Scotia and collected and preserved many records.

The menu went under the hammer at Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes, Wiltshire on Saturday and sold for £84,000.

Other items which featured in the sale included a Swiss-made pocket watch owned by and recovered from second-class Titanic passenger Sinai Kantor which sold for £97,000.

A first-class tartan-patterned deck blanket, which was likely used during the rescue of passengers, fetched £96,000.

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