A menu from the last lunch served on the Titanic before it tragically struck an iceberg and sank sold for a massive $88,000 in a New York auction house last week.
The menu was among a collection of Titanic artifacts passed on to Lion Heart Autographs by a descendant of a survivor of the fatal Atlantic crossing. Also in the collection were a letter from one survivor to another regarding the investigation into their escape from the sinking ship in Lifeboat No. 1 and a ticket from the ship’s Turkish Bath’s unusual “weighing chair” known to be one of just four still in existence.
As reported by IrishCentral before the auction on September 30, the menu comes from the first-class saloon of the ship and is dated April 14, 1912, just hours before the ship was struck by an iceberg.
It had originally been estimated to reach between $50,000- $70,000 at auction but greatly surpassed the expected figure, achieving a sale of $88,000 to an unknown buyer.
This particular menu came from the ship via the hands of Abraham Lincoln Salomon, a wholesale stationer with offices in New York and Philadelphia who survived the disaster in the now infamous Lifeboat No. 1, later nicknamed “the money boat” and “the millionaires’ boat.” Passengers leaving the ship in this boat were investigated over claims they bribed the crew to leave the ship with just 12 passengers in a boat that could hold 40. The passengers also faced an investigation regarding their decision not to return to the site of the sinking to look for survivors in the icy waters.
The menu shows the extent of the lavish lifestyle the first-class Titanic passengers enjoyed and the decadence experienced by those on the higher end of the famous ship’s tiered class system.
The 13-course meal (just for lunch!) included options such as cockie leekie soup, fillets of brill, egg a l’Argenteuil, chicken a la Maryland, and Norwegian anchovies.
This particular menu also bears the signature of Isaac Gerald Frauenthal, a New York lawyer who was likely the dining companion of Salomon during the journey.
A ticket for the ship’s “weighing machine” also sold for $11,000 in the online auction, a thousand dollars over the highest estimated price tag on the lot. The ticket bears the names of three people who joined Salomon in the first lifeboat to leave the sinking ship; influential fashion designer Lucy Duff-Gordon; her husband, wealthy Scottish nobleman Cosmo Duff-Gordon; and Lucy’s secretary Laura Mabel Francatelli. Duff-Gordon, in particular, was investigated over claims of bribery.
The final lot in the collection was a letter between Salomon and Francatelli in which she spoke of the stress endured during the investigation into their escape.
Dated October 12, 1912, six months after the sinking, Francatelli writes, “I am afraid our nerves are still bad, as we had such trouble & anxiety added to our already awful experience by the very unjust inquiry when we arrived in London.”
The letter sold for $7,500, again reaching high above its estimated price tag of $4,000-$6,000.
All three lots were sold to unknown buyers.
* Originally published in October 2015.