Wood panelling from Titanic sister ship star lot at auction
Ornate panelling from one of Titanic's sister ships will be sold in a historic auction next month.
Taken from two luxurious state rooms on the Britannic, the wooden overlay will take centre stage at the two-day auction at the Heritage Hotel, Killenard, Co Laois, from May 1-2.
Rediscovered after their use in a Dublin city centre cinema until 1972, the Harland and Wolff-manufactured panelling from the first-class lounge and the second-class library are expected to sell for at least €200,000 each.
Launched in 1914, two years after the ill-fated voyage of the Titanic, the Britannic was requisitioned as a hospital ship during the First World War and the fittings were removed.
One year later, while en route to collect troops wounded in the Balkans campaign, the ship hit a German mine and sank in the Aegean Sea.
The wreck lay at a depth of 400ft for 59 years until it was discovered by explorer Jacques Cousteau.
"These pieces are identical to the designs used on the Titanic, and cannot be replicated, either for their historical value or their ornate craftsmanship," said auctioneer Niall Mullen.
"They are a truly significant nautical find of world importance.
"The first-class lounge panelling, framed in richly carved polished oak in a Louis XV style, has a guiding price of€250,000 to €350,000.
"The oak had been seasoned for at least 35 years before manufacture, dating it back at least to 1877."
The auction will take place on May 1 and 2 at 11am. The catalogue will be available to view at victormeeauctions.ie or titanicsisterauction2019.com.