A biscuit that survived the Titanic’s tragic maiden voyage is up for auction. With an estimated bidding range of $12,380 - $15,480 (£8,000 and £10,000), it is believed to be the most valuable biscuit in the world.
The edible artifact, a ‘Pilot’ biscuit from Spillers & Bakers, was salvaged from the survival kit on one of the Titanic’s lifeboats. It will be auctioned by Henry Aldridge & Son auctioneers in Devizes, Wiltshire, England, on October 24.
James Fenwick, a passenger on the SS Carpathia, the ship that rescued the Titanic passengers who made it into the ship’s limited fleet of lifeboats, found the biscuit. He carefully tucked it into a Kodak envelope with the note “Pilot biscuit from Titanic lifeboat April 1912.”
“It is the world’s most valuable biscuit,” auctioneer Andrew Aldridge told the Irish Times.
“We don’t know which lifeboat the biscuit came from but there are no other Titanic lifeboat biscuits in existence to my knowledge.
“It is incredible that this biscuit has survived such a dramatic event – the sinking of the world’s largest ocean liner.”
He noted that the limited field of famous biscuits also includes one from one of Ernest Shackleton’s Arctic expeditions, which sold a few years ago for $4,460, and a biscuit that survived the sinking of the Lusitania, which is on display at the Cobh Museum in Ireland.
Also up for auction on October 24 is a Fenwick’s personal archive of photographs of the Titanic’s survivors, as well as his first-hand account of their rescue.
One particularly chilling photo shows the SS Californian floating in the distance. The Californian was the ship that infamously heard the Titanic’s distress calls but failed to come to its aid.
Close to 1,500 of the Titanic’s passengers perished in the freezing waters of the Atlantic when it struck an iceberg and then sank in the early morning house of April 15, 1912. There were only 705 survivors.
Recent auctions of other Titanic artifacts and memorabilia have proved that the ship still captivates those interested in its tragic tale.
A menu from the Titanic’s sumptuous last lunch in First Class went for $88,000 last month in an online auction from New York auction house Lionheart Autographs. A ticket for the ship’s “weighing machine” also sold for $11,000 – both were above the estimated bidding ranges.
Would you bid on the Titanic biscuit? What would you do with it if you secured the winning bid? Share your thoughts in the comment section, below.