Worldwide interest in the tragic Tale of the Titanic has never wavered, not once since that fateful night in 1912 when the ship hit an iceberg and sank with the loss of 1,517 lives.
Next month a ticket to a milestone event in the history of the famous ship will be up for auction and experts say it could fetch a fortune.
On offer is one remarkably well preserved ticket to the original launch of the Titanic in Belfast on May 31, 1911. Wildly sought after by collectors, the ticket could fetch up to $100,000 when it goes under the hammer in New York next month.
To be offered for sale at Bonhams on Sunday, April 15 in the year of the 100 anniversary of the ship’s sinking, the ticket is particularly rare because it was unused by the invitee and the stub is still attached.
The Belfast Telegraph reports that other sought after items of memorabilia from the ship are coming to market ahead of its centenary, and some of the extraordinary offerings include a piece of the actual ship raised from the seabed and currently valued at up to $44 million.
The English auctioneer Andrew Aldridge told the Telegraph he is witnessing 'unprecedented interest' in memorabilia from the tragic liner.
'I’m getting between 70 and 100 emails a day relating to buyers and sellers of Titanic material,' he told the Telegraph.
The historic ticket up for auction is numbered 193 and it features the words: 'Launch of White Star Royal Mail Triple-Screw Steamer Titanic At Belfast, Wednesday, 31st May, 1911, at 12.15 PM.' At the top right hand corner of the ticket are the red and white pennant of the Titanic's owners, White Star Line.
Gregg Dietrich, a marine expert at Bonhams, told the Telegraph that to find an unused ticket was extremely rare.
'Titanic launch tickets are rare, but the one we are selling is the rarest as it is the only fully-intact ticket in existence,' he said. 'Only one or two others have come up for sale, but they were not fully intact.'
100,000 people are said to have attended the launch of the ship at the famous Harland & Wolff shipyard outside Belfast. Bucking tradition, the White Star Line and Harland & Wolff did not formally name or christen the Titanic at its launch.
That break with longstanding tradition proved to be an ill omen for the ship many now contend.