30/03/2012 “Women and Children First!” - The Titanic Auctions
Ever since that fateful day in April 1912 when the RMS Titanic hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic, the story of the ship’s demise and the fate that befell its 2224 passengers has intrigued the world.
Despite an almost constant stream of discoveries over the decades, either from the wreck itself or out of collections amassed by Titanicophiles, two auction houses have still managed to assemble interesting catalogues of Titanic or White Star Line memorabilia.
For example, Henry Aldridge & Son has a letter from the ship’s First Officer, Henry Wilde. Writing from Southampton on 7 April before the Titanic set sail, he describes preparations for the forthcoming journey. Wilde was later famous for his selfless heroism while organising the evacuation. Estimate: £25,000 – 30,000.
There are also artefacts from the Titanic’s sister ship Olympic and a number of books, many of which are first editions. Another interesting piece is the menu from the First Class dining room on the very day of the disaster. The menu lists some 40 different dishes, including Chicken Maryland and Egg à l'Argenteuil. It was found in the purse of passenger Ruth Dodge, and is estimated at £60,000 – 100,000.
The ‘Titanic & White Star Line Memorabilia Sale’ will be held at Henry Aldridge & Son’s Devizes premises on Saturday, 31 March. For further information, visit www.henry-aldridge.com.
Bonhams’ ‘R.M.S. Titanic: 100 Years of Fact & Fiction’ auction will be held in New York on Sunday, 15 April. See www.bonhams.com.