First-Class ‘Titanic’ Menu Could Fetch $70,000 at Auction
A unique slice of history from the final, fateful day aboard the Titanic will come to auction this month: the first-class lunch menu, saved by a passenger who escaped when the ship went down. It carries an estimate of $50,000–70,000.
Some 1,500 souls perished on April 15, 1912, when the Titanic hit an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland and sank, four days into its maiden voyage.
Abraham Lincoln Salomon, a stationery wholesaler who lived on Central Park West, was among the survivors, and he somehow held onto the menu from his final meal aboard the ocean liner. The historical artifact is on offer in an online auction organized by New York’s Lion Heart Autographs, now live and lasting through September 30, with bidding invaluable and live on eBay.
What did the upper crust eat aboard the luxury White Star vessel? Culinary tastes have changed in the last century; the largely unfamiliar items on the menu include corned ox tongue, soused herrings, fillets of brill, cockie leekie, brawn, and potted shrimps.
In January, a letter from Lucy Duff-Gordon, a British aristocrat who survived the wreck along with her husband, was auctioned at RR Auction in Boston. The couple was on the same lifeboat as Salomon, dubbed the “Money Boat” and the “Millionaire’s Boat,” which was the subject of widely reported rumors—which proved unfounded—that the first-class passengers aboard had bribed crew members not to return to the sinking ship to let other passengers into their supposedly mostly empty lifeboat.
The letter fetched $11,875, nearly doubling its pre-sale estimate of $6,000.
A letter written by Mabel Francatelli, who worked for Duff-Gordon and escaped with her on the lifeboat, is also included in the upcoming sale, where it is expected to bring in $4,000–6,000.
“We do hope you have now quite recovered from the terrible experience,” Francatelli wrote to Salomon six months after the tragedy. “I am afraid our nerves are still bad, as we had such trouble & anxiety added to our already awful experience by the very unjust inquiry when we arrived in London.”
In 2004, a dinner menu from April 14, the last meal served on board the ill-fated ship, sold for $88,500 at Guernsey’s in New York. The dinner options seem somewhat less dated, with dishes including roast duckling with apple sauce and cold asparagus in vinaigrette.
The upcoming auction marks the 30th anniversary of the discovery of the Titanic‘s wreckage.
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