Top 10: Titanic memorabilia
10) Life preserver worn by Mabel Francatelli - £60,000
A rare early 20th century life preserver that was worn by Mabel Francatelli as she escaped from RMS Titanic was sold by Christie’s in London in May 2007. The life preserver was autographed by Francatelli and other survivors from lifeboat number 1.
The life preserver sold, with a photograph of the surviving group from lifeboat number 1, for £60,000.
9) The Booth – Titanic Signals Archive - £66,000
Eighty five messages sent and received by the Titanic from April 12th to April 15th 1912 were sold by Christie’s London in April 1992.
The messages were divided into two separate sections. The first section contained 49 messages and the second section contained 36 messages.
The messages were expected to sell for £8,000-£10,000 but were bought for £66,000.
8) Barbara Dainton-West collection - £69,000
Barbara Dainton-West was only 10 months old when the RMS Titanic sank. From Cornwall originally, Dainton-West and her family were going to start a new life in America. This unique archive of letters had been in the family since 1912.
The letters contain detailed descriptions of life aboard the Titanic and in depth accounts of the bereavement and anger that was felt once the surviving members of the family arrived in New York.
As well as the letters, the collection contained a small thermos flask which had been given to the family, full of hot milk, upon their rescue.
The Barbara Dainton-West collection sold for £69,000 in April 2009.
7) Messages from the Titanic, the Olympic & other ships - $123,500 (approx. £75,328)
In February 1998, Christie’s in New York sold a volume of messages the Olympic, the Titanic and other ships dated April 14th to April 16th. There were 34 signals between the Olympic, the Titanic, Carpathia & other ships which detailed the distress signals of the Titanic and the rescue operations following the disaster.
The volume, which carried a pre-sale estimate of just $2,200-$2,800 sold for $123,500.
6) Last Titanic lunch menu - £76,000
In April 2012, a first class menu from the last lunch served on the Titanic before she hit the iceberg sold for £76,000 at Henry Aldridge & Son auctioneers. The April 14 menu detailed the luxurious offerings for first class passengers. It survived by travelling in the handbag of Ruth Dodge, a first class passenger.
5) Crow’s Nest key – £90,000
This key opened the binoculars store aboard the RMS Titanic. Tagged “Crow’s Nest Telephone Titanic”, the key was not on the ship when it sailed from Southampton.
The key was in the pocket of an officer who was transferred off the ship days before its maiden voyage. He forgot to hand it in to his replacement as he left.
One lookout, Fred Fleet, who survived, told the official inquiry that if they had had binoculars they would have seen the iceberg sooner. When asked how much sooner, Fleet replied: "Enough to get out of the way."
The key sold for £90,000 at an auction by Henry Aldridge Auctioneers in Devizes, Wilshire, UK in September 2007.
4) Edmund Stone’s pocket watch - £94,000
A pocket-watch which belonged to Titanic First Class Steward, Edmund Stone, was sold by Henry Aldridge Auctioneers in October 2008 for £94,000.
The hands and movement on the watch were frozen at 2:16am, capturing the moment Stone entered the freezing cold North Atlantic.
3) Signed Wallace Hartley letter - $185,969 (approx. £115,245)
A signed letter dating April 10, 1912, from Wallace Hartley on R.M.S. Titanic letterhead. Hartley was the English violinist who led the Titanic band that famously carried on playing as the ship sank, gallantly giving up their lifeboat spaces for others.
This letter to his parents achieved $185,969 at RR Auction’s Titanic centenary April 2012 sale.
2) Titanic Longitudinal ship plan - £220,000
A 32ft longitudinal plan of the Titanic used during the inquiry into the disaster in 1912 was drawn up by the Naval Architects Department of White Star Line.
It broke the record for the most expensive piece of Titanic memorabilia ever sold in May 2011 when it sold at Henry Aldridge & Son for £220,000.
1) Wallace Hartley's violin - £900,000
In October 2013, the violin played by Titanic band leader Wallace Hartley as the ship sank sold for a world record price of £900,000 - more than four times the previous record.
It was sold at Henry Aldridge & Son, after many years of scientific and historical analysis to prove its authenticity. The violin was originally a gift from Hartley's fiance, and it was discovered strapped to his body after he drowned in the disaster along with his seven band mates.
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