A menu for first-class passengers on Titanic, that was discovered in a photo album, has sold for over $100,000 at auction.
The remarkable historic menu is dated 11 April 1912 — four days before the Titanic crashed into an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean, killing more than 1,500 of the 2,208 passengers and crew on board the ship.
On Saturday, the rare relic fetched $102,000 (£84,000) at auction at Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes, Wiltshire in the U.K.
The water-damaged menu revealed how the Titanic’s wealthiest passengers dined on a menu of oysters, beef, spring lamb, roast chicken, mallard duck, green peas, parsnip purée, and Victoria pudding.
Found in a Photo Album
According to Sky News, the menu was discovered in a photo album from the 1960s by the daughter and son-in-law of late historian Len Stephenson.
He was an expert on his hometown Dominion in Nova Scotia and collected and preserved many records.
According to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax, a city more than 200 miles southwest of Dominion, was the base for the search and recovery efforts of the Titanic. Some of the Titanic’s victims were buried at sea while others were either shipped to their home communities or buried in Halifax.
It was unclear how exactly Stephenson acquired the menu, but his son-in-law shipped it to auctioneer Andrew Aldridge for a closer look.
“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 11 April dinner menu,” Aldridge says of the item.
“The menu is a remarkable survivor from the most famous ocean liner of all time.”
He said that the water stain marks on the menu and historian Stevenson’s link to Nova Scotia suggest that it may have been recovered from the body of a victim.
“The latter shows signs of water immersion having been partially erased, the reverse of the menu also clearly displays further evidence of this,” Aldridge says.
“This would point to the menu having been subjected to the icy North Atlantic waters on the morning of 15 April, either having left the ship with a survivor who was exposed to those cold sea waters or recovered on the person of one of those lost.
The Titanic was on its maiden voyage from Southampton, U.K. to New York when it sank. First-class passengers on the doomed ocean liner included multi-millionaire John Jacob Astor, millionaire Benjamin Guggenheim, and socialite Molly Brown.