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Most Expensive Titanic Memorabilia to be Auctioned

Andrea Divirgilio / March 27, 2012

The date April 15, 1912 will always remember etched in people’s memories as one of the greatest tragedies documented, actually took place on the day. The legendary passenger ship, the Titanic sank, and out of the 2,228 people on board, around 1,500 of them lost their lives in the tragic event. Since then, all memorabilia related to the incident has managed to garner much attention from collectors, which has resulted in many of them fetching premium prices at auctions. The following list brings to light some of the premium items which have fetched the highest winnings bids, at different auctions around the world.

Amy diamond bracelet

Price: $200 million (entire collection sale)

Lots of mystery surrounds this bracelet, as the exact name of the person who owned this silver, rose gold, and diamond bracelet isn’t known. This piece of jewelry was recovered as late as 1987, and estimates say that it could belong to 2 people on board with the same name, one of whom was a member of the staff. Also, some it say it could be the property of a Ms. Amanda or Amelia, both of whom were there on the ship.

Titanic ship blueprint for official enquiry

Price: $362,000

After the tragic event of the Titanic’s crash and sinking occurred, there were official enquiries which were established to find out the reasons, and all other details of the ship. For that a blueprint was used, and this later changed hands for $362,000 at an auction event in the UK in 2011. Measuring a total of 33-feet in width, this detailed drawing was created with colored chalks, and displayed how the iceberg penetrated the ship, and caused it to crash.

Handwritten manuscripts

Price: $200,000 (estimate)

One of the most personal and existent memories from the tragic event, the handwritten manuscripts have exchanged hands in the past, for premium prices at various auction. This current document is known to be a handwritten letter, written on the 10th of April, 2012 by Adolphe Saafeld to his wife describing how wonderful a journey he had. In fact, he detailed out the ship’s interior decoration and ornamentation, along with the elaborate menu that went with it. Little did he know, that only 5 days later, tragedy would strike the ship and most people aboard would sink to death. It had earlier changed hands in 2010, for a sum of $87,914 (£55,000). Also, there is a 2nd manuscript that is stated to go on auction this year, with an estimate of $40,000-50,000. It was written by the ship’s surgeon, John Edward Simpson, who examined the 2nd and 3rd class passengers on board.

Lunch menu card

Price: $150,000 (estimated)

A day before the tragedy happened, guests aboard the historic passenger ship were obviously enjoying a sumptuous feast, as the menu dated April 14, 1912 describes. Comprising of 4 different courses for the lunch on that day, each section had a plethora of options for the guests too choose from, and a sight of it brings back perhaps the last fulfilling and enjoyable experience the passengers had aboard the ill-fated vessel. Mrs. Washington Dodge and her husband, who were one of the survivors from the event, had kept it as a part of their family heirloom, before it was put on auction.

Rare pictures of the Titanic

Price: $100,570 (entire collection sales)

It wasn’t just the ship alone, but memories in the form of photographs garnered similar attention at auctions. Though some of them are colored paintings, others remain black and white pictures of the ship, at various stages of its journey, especially the earlier stages when it was leaving the harbor. The collection also included the photographs of Nelle and John Snyder, who were one of the pairs who survived the tragic event.

Captain Edward John Smith cigar box

Price: $39,967

The captain of the ill-fated Titanic Capt. Edward John Smith, was known to have a love for cigars, so much so that he would request his family complete silence and privacy while he smoked his cherished variety. It is for this reason that White Star Lines, had gifted the captain one such box, which was a walnut wooden humidor to store his cigars. Also, this box wasn’t discovered until recently, when a collector found it a sale for antique pieces. The originality was then verified with the Captain’s initials, which are inscribed on the box.

Titanic life jacket

Price: $119,000

Though this happens to be something that would have been needed in much larger numbers, but never the less, one of them survived to exchange hands at an auction for $119,000. This life vest was meant for any emergency that could have occurred at sea, but by the looks of it, it might not have been sufficient for every one especially under those tough weather conditions.

The Wallace Hartley letter

Price: $100,000 to $200,000 (estimate)

Undertaken by RR Auction, yet another handwritten manuscript shall be changing hands by April 26, 2012: the Wallace Hartley letter to his family. The concerned document was written on the ship’s letterhead, just days before the Titanic met its end near New Foundland in 1912, where the band leader writes to his parents about the band members and the condition of the ship. He mentions that his members are a good bunch of people, and also that it seemed that the ship had indeed been built with great care and lots of money. He was hoping to reach home on the next Monday, but that day never came for him, as the ship met with its tragic end. Since handwritten scripts are known to be a classic favorite, this letter should also attract collectors and historians in a fierce bid for the memorabilia.

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