The world’s appetite for Titanic memorabilia has been proven once again at an English auction where many items from the liner sold for twice their reserve price.
More than 250 artifacts from the doomed Titanic sold for a six-figure total sum at the auction held by memorabilia specialists Henry Aldridge & Son in Wiltshire.
The Irish Independent reports that a menu from the ship’s first-class restaurant sold for almost $100,000 while a small locker key fetched a similar amount.
Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge told the paper that there was fierce competition among bidders from across the world.
He said: “Some of the items we had on sale today were extremely rare, which prompted a lot of interest from people here in the UK as well as from Monaco, South America and the USA.
“There was competition for the rarest pieces as people want to own the best items.
“We never reveal the total amount the whole auction made, but it was a substantial six-figure sum, put it that way.”
Aldridge revealed significant interest in the Lurette Collection, a series of items once owned by maid Elise Lurette which sold for a total of $150,000.
The report says the French-born Lurette was one of about 700 people who survived after the passenger liner hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage in 1912.
A menu she was carrying in her coat pocket dated April 12 listed the foods available to passengers including mutton chops, Melton Mowbray pie and tapioca pudding. It was sold to a collector for almost $100,000.
A bidding war was sparked by the sale of a deck plan used by Lurette to help find her way to a lifeboat on the ill-fated ship. This sold for almost $50,000, almost double its guide price.
Auctioneer Aldridge added: “To have a menu, especially one that survived the sinking in Ms Lurette’s coat pocket, alongside a first-class deck plan, which was used on the Titanic and has remained in the family for over a century, is unheard of.”
A letter by engineer Joseph Bell which described how the Titanic almost hit two other liners as it left Southampton docks sold for $36,000.
A tiny locker key owned by Southampton man Sidney Sedunary fetched a staggering $100,000, also double its estimate.
The report adds that Sedunary’s body was later recovered and his possessions, including his pocket watch and keys to his cabin were sent to his pregnant wife Madge.
Aldridge concluded: “The items have some amazing stories behind them. When you see the items it brings passengers’ stories to life.”