Titanic memorabilia from Lifeboat No.1 set for online auction

Jack Sprat

Jack Sprat

2015-09-01 11:11:55

A forthcoming internet auction will feature three highly rare pieces of Titanic memorabilia.

All three items are related to survivors in Lifeboat No. 1, the infamous lifeboat that launched containing just five passengers and seven crew members. It was quickly dubbed “The Millionaire’s Boat,” or “The Money Boat”, as rumours spread that its wealthy passengers had bribed the crew to escape the sinking vessel without filling up the boat or returning to rescue anyone else.

The items originate from passenger Lincoln Salomon (1868-1959), owner of a New York wholesale stationery business and cousin of the renowned photographer Alfred Stieglitz.

First is one of just four-known surviving tickets from the Titanic's Turkish Baths weighing chair, a custom-designed English chair in the cooling room which would record a person’s weight. Bearing the penciled names of three of the five other First Class passengers aboard the No. 1lifeboat, likely written by Salomon himself, the ticket is estimated at $7,500-$10,000.

The second item, and the highlight of the auction, is an original menu from the Titanic's last luncheon, served on April 14 – just hours before the ship struck the iceberg.

First Class passengers were offered a wide variety of food, including Cockie Leekie, fillets of Brill, grilled mutton chops, potted shrimps, Norwegian anchovies, round of spiced beef, corned ox tongue, Bologna sausage and custard pudding.

Salomon is believed to have dined with fellow survivor Isaac Gerald Frauenthal, who escaped in Lifeboat No. 5, as his signature appears in pencil on the back of the menu. With original Titanic menus highly sought after by collectors, the luncheon menu is expected to sell for $50,000-$70,000.

The third item is a letter written by survivor Mabel Francatelli (1880-1967), who managed to escape on the boat with her employer, fashion designer Lucy Duff-Gordon (1863-1935), her husband, wealthy Scottish nobleman Cosmo Duff-Gordon (1862-1931).

The couple were believed to have responsible for the alleged bribe, and were interrogated upon their return to England and vilified by the press. In her letter to fellow survivor Solomon, she wrote:

“We do hope you have now quite recovered from the terrible experience. 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.” The letter is valued at $4,000-$6,000.

All three items will be offered for sale in Lion Heart Autographs' Rare Titanic Artifacts from Lifeboat No. 1 & Other Historic Autographs Auction, which takes place online on September 30.

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