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Titanic’s First-Class Dinner Menu Could Fetch a Fortune at Auction

By Brinley Hinemabn, Published in The Messenger
Titanic-menu

November 8, 2023

Titanic-menu
A first-class menu from one of the last dinners served on the Titanic on April 11, 1912.Henry Aldridge & Son Ltd

The rare water-damaged menu is for April 11, 1912, just three days before the ship smashed into an iceberg

A rare menu set for auction this week offers a window into the lavish culinary choices of Titanic\’s first-class passengers just days before the catastrophic collision that claimed more than 1,500 lives and offers insight into the opulence enjoyed by the wealthiest on board.

The water-damaged menu, dated April 11, 1912, is a relic from just three days before the vessel collided with an iceberg, leading to its infamous demise in the icy Atlantic.

The signs of water damage suggest that the menu was either carried by a survivor or retrieved from one of the 1,517 victims, according to auction house Henry Aldridge & Son Ltd in Devizes, England.

“Having spoken to the leading collectors of Titanic memorabilia globally and consulted with numerous museums with Titanic collections we can find no other surviving examples of a First-Class April 11th dinner menu,” the auction house said. 

Diners had about 20 options on the night of April 11, after the Titanic left Queenstown, the ship’s final stop ahead of the intended destination of New York. First-class diners could nosh on Squab a la Godard, Spring Lamb, Tornado of Beef a la Victoria, Mallard Duck and Apricots Bordaloue, according to the menu. 

“The menu is a remarkable survivor from the most famous Ocean liner of all time,” the auction house said. 

The menu’s opening bid is 30,000 GBP, but it’s expected to fetch up to 70,000 GBP, equal to approximately $86,000. 

The auction house has other Titanic items for sale, including “an extremely rare” pocket watch recovered from second-class passenger Sinai Kantor of Vitebsk, Russia, who died in the sinking. The watch has numerals that are Hebrew figures.

“An important piece of Titanic Judaica,” the auction house said. 

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A pocket watch recovered from the Titanic.Henry Aldridge & Son Ltd

The timepiece is expected to sell for up to 80,000 GBP, or about $98,000. 

Other items for sale from the Titanic include the only surviving example of the “Captain\’s Bowl,” which the auction house deemed “one of the rarest pieces of White Star crystal we have ever handled;” a lamp from the first-class reading and writing room; and a first-class White Star Line tartan deck blanket expected to sell for up to 100,000 GBP, or nearly $123,000. 

“This is quite simply one of the rarest three-dimensional objects we have seen, having not only been onboard Titanic and possibly used alongside a Titanic deckchair to warm the occupant but saved in a lifeboat, then travelled on the Carpathia to New York,” the auction house said of the blanket.

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