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The £58k lunch: Titanic menu is sold at auction in US

By AP Reporters

Published 02/10/2015

The ill-fated Belfast liner
The ill-fated Belfast liner
The menu which was sold at auction

The Titanic's last lunch menu has been sold at a US auction for $88,000 (£58,166) - although the tale of money behind it beats even the selling price.

The menu was saved by a first-class passenger who climbed aboard a lifeboat whose crew was said to have been bribed to row away instead of rescuing more people.

Online New York auctioneer Lion Heart Autographs offered the menu and two other previously unknown artefacts from Lifeboat 1.

Abraham Lincoln Salomon was among a handful of first-class passengers who boarded the lifeboat, dubbed the Money Boat or Millionaire's Boat by the Press because of unfounded rumours one of them bribed the seven crew to quickly row away from the sinking ocean liner.

The menu, which lists corned beef, dumplings and other savoury items, is signed on the back in pencil by another first-class passenger, Isaac Gerald Frauenthal, who escaped on another lifeboat. It is believed the two men lunched together that fateful day in 1912.

Salomon also took away a printed ticket from the Titanic's opulent Turkish baths, which recorded a person's weight when seated in a specially designed upholstered lounge chair.

The ticket bears the names of three of the five other first-class passengers with him on Lifeboat 1. One of four weighing chair tickets known to exist, it sold for $11,000 (£7,270).

A letter written by Mabel Francatelli to Salomon on New York's Plaza Hotel stationery six months after the disaster fetched $7,500 (£4,950).

Francatelli had climbed into Lifeboat 1 with her employer, aristocratic fashion designer Lucy Duff-Gordon and her Scottish husband, Lord Cosmo Duff-Gordon, rumoured to have bribed the crew to row them to safety in the boat, which had a capacity of 40.

Lion Heart Autographs said the seller's father was given the items by a descendant of one of the lifeboat survivors. It did not identify the buyer.

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