A menu believed to come from the Titanic sold at an auction in the UK for over $100,000.
The weathered menu card auctioned off last Saturday was for first-class passengers and bore the date April 11, 1912, just a few days before the Titanic sank on April 14.
Measuring 6.25 x 4.25 inches, it still has the embossed red logo of the White Star Line. This would have been displayed alongside the golden initials of the Ocean Steamship Navigation Company and the RMS Titanic, though they are no longer visible.
“The menu is a remarkable survivor from the most famous ocean liner of all time,” said Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge.
Though it isn’t clear how the item made it off the ship, Aldridge thinks it came from one of the passengers after the vessel sank.
Referring to the water stains, he said, “This would point to the menu having been subjected to the icy North Atlantic waters on the morning of April 15, 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.”
He added that the auction house, Henry Aldridge & Son of Devizes, liaised with prominent collectors and museums with Titanic memorabilia and discovered it is the only surviving April 11 dinner menu.
It was eventually found in a photo album that dates back to the 1960s. The album was owned by the daughter and son-in-law of the late historian Len Stephenson, who was known for collecting many historical records.
What did first-class passengers eat in 1912?
The menu reveals that the wealthiest passengers over a century ago dined on salmon, oysters, squab (baby pigeon), roast chicken with bread sauce, beef, and spring lamb with mint sauce. It lists parsnip puree, pees, mallard duck with port wine sauce, potatoes, boiled rice, and salad.
As for dessert, guests could choose between petits mocka (coffee cake), apricots and ice cream, and Victoria pudding (boiled pudding stuffed with fruit).
Apart from the menu, other auction items from the Titanic were a Swiss pocket watch that sold for $119,000 and a deck blanket believed to have been used while passengers were rescued. The latter went for $118,000.