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Titanic records, Ulster Covenant and Nazi Goering’s teapot at Belfast auction

Handwritten Harland & Wolff records relating to the Titanic and a copy of the Ulster Covenant will go under the hammer at Bloomfield Auctions later this month.

The Harland &Wolff minute book and an original copy of the Ulster Covenant are just two of the most fascinating lots at the Militaria & Memories Auction in Belfast on Tuesday, June 20.

The old shipyard ‘Minute Book B', dated 1905-1918, and with an estimated value at auction of £400-£600, chronicles the day-to-day business of shipbuilding in Belfast.

Within its pages, the Balance Sheet prepared for the 1910/11 Annual Report proudly shows the celebrated 45,000 tonnes RMS Titanic as a work in progress. 

"Those who so carefully recorded those details in their elegant Edwardian copperplate writing can have had no idea of the sad fate that awaited the ship once hailed as the largest and most opulent in the world," auctioneer Karl Bennett said.

An original Ulster Covenant bearing the signatures of Edward Carson, James Craig, Admiral Charles Beresford & Lord Londonderry and others will also come under the hammer, with bids of £200-£400 expected.

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The original copy of the Ulster Covenant, with its many illustrious signatures, which will be auctioned in Belfast on June 20.

Looking forward to the sale on Tuesday 20 June, Mr Bennett commented: “There is always a huge interest in any Titanic-related artefacts and memorabilia so we are thrilled to be showcasing this unique handwritten and craftsman-bound document. 

"The fact that each entry is handwritten helps to transport today’s reader back into a different age … and I think that same magic is at play when you can pick up and examine a copy of the Ulster Covenant which carries the actual signatures of some of the best known political figures of their day."

Mr Bennett has noticed that more and more people are becoming collectors, both amateur and professional.

“Whether you are in a position to invest in something of museum-stature significance or you are simply buying an item which brings back memories of your childhood, the fascination of collecting lies in making connections with the past. 

"People are fascinated with items that give them an insight into history and we’re currently seeing a massive growth of collecting not only antiques, but also vintage items and memorabilia.

“Auction lots with particularly strong provenance offer the most direct links to history so they tend to be regarded as investment pieces. We’re looking forward to high interest, and some high prices too, when we offer a sale room packed with fascinating items this month.”

Amongst the lots likely to attract most interest are a Nymphenburg, Deutsche Reichsbahn porcelain teapot originally used in Hermann Goering’s dining wagon of the Sonderzug (special train). The piece comes from a private collection mentioned in the James A Yannes book 'The Special Trains Of Hitler, Goering Et Al’ and has an estimated value at auction of £2,500-£3,500.

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The porcelain teapot used on Hermann Goering’s personal train.

Other pieces already attracting the attention of collectors include a George III brass barrelled flintlock rifle with silver inlay, made by Egan, and engraved, 'Bequeathed To Patrick Egan at the behest of his father 1778' (estimate: £2,500-£3,500) and a George V Irish silver anti Home Rule Association (Ulster Volunteer Force) salver dated and hallmarked Dublin 1913 by Sharman D Neill (estimate: £800-£1,200)

The Militaria & Memories Auction will be held at Bloomfield Auctions at the historic Owen O’Cork Mill complex on Belfast’s Beersbridge Road on Tuesday, |June 20, with bidding starting at 6.30pm. For information on viewing times, follow Bloomfield Auctions on Facebook or visit BloomfieldAuctions.

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