Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Titanic ticket fetches £35,600

A ticket to the May 31 1911 launch of the RMS Titanic (AP/Bonhams Auction House)

An auction house has sold an original ticket to the 1912 launch of the Titanic and a dinner menu from the ill-fated ocean liner, plus items recovered from the wreckage miles underwater.

On the block at Bonhams in New York on Sunday were various Titanic remnants offered to mark the centennial of its sinking.

The historic admission ticket fetched 56,250 dollars (£35,600), including the auction house premium. The menu, touting choices like the tongue of a castrated rooster and beef sirloin with horseradish, sold for 31,250 dollars (£19,780).

Both went to private American buyers, said Gregg Dietrich, Bonhams' maritime consultant. He said one surprise at the auction was the comparatively low price paid for a telegraph that read: "We have struck an iceberg."

That message - sold for 27,500 dollars (£17,405) - was sent to Titanic's sister ship, the Olympic, about three hours before the Titanic sank just days into its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. Only about 700 of the luxury liner's more than 2,200 passengers survived.

One important item that did not sell is a handwritten account from the captain of the Carpathia that rescued the survivors, Mr Dietrich said. "But interest in Titanic artefacts remains strong," he said, noting that Bonhams' Manhattan auction room was filled with about 60 people, in addition to bidders on the phone and online.

He said many items went to buyers collecting Titanic artefacts for years.

The most curious lot of the day, he said, sold for 12,500 dollars (£7,911) - three rivets and a piece of porthole glass recovered from the wreckage in the North Atlantic near Newfoundland during expeditions starting in 1987.

The biggest sale of Titanic lore has yet to come - 5,000 artefacts with a value of hundreds of millions of dollars owned by RMS Titanic Inc.

A New York auction planned for April was put on hold because of talks with various parties for the possible purchase of the collection, ranging from passengers' personal possessions and parts of the hull to china and the ship's fittings

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