The historic first-class dinner menu from the RMS Titanic, which is water-stained from the disaster, is likely to have been taken home by a passenger on the lifeboats
A water-stained menu from the Titanic has sold for more than £60,000.
The bill of fare was handed to first-class passengers on the doomed voyage on 11 April 1912, just three days before the ‘unsinkable’ ship perished after colliding with an iceberg.
It is understood to have been carried off the vessel during the historic lifeboat evacuations – but the auctioneers said it could have also been found from the body of someone who died in the tragedy.
Items served on the evening for the main course included oysters, salmon, spring lamb in mint sauce and squab (baby pigeon). Other options include sirloin of beef in a horseradish cream, while further down the menu is Mallard duck served in a port wine sauce.
Dessert meanwhile offers the French dish of apricots bordaloue, a kind of pear tart, as well as a couple of less common choices that don’t appear to have survived the test of time. Petits mocka is likely to be a kind of coffee cake, while old recipes for Victoria pudding suggest it is boiled pudding filled with fruit.
It is thought to be the only menu to survive from that particular evening. Andrew Aldridge, manager of the auction house, told the Guardian: “I’ve spoken to several museums globally, and I’ve spoken to a number of our Titanic collectors. I can’t find another one anywhere.”
How it ended up being kept mostly intact following the infamous tragedy, however, remains a mystery. A description from auctioneers Henry & Aldridge and Son reads: “The latter shows signs of water immersion having been partially erased, the reverse of the menu also clearly displays further evidence of this.
“This would point to the menu having been subjected to the icy North Atlantic waters on the morning of April 15th 1912 either having left the ship with a survivor who was exposed to those cold sea waters or recovered on the person of one of those lost.”
The menu ended up selling for £66,00 to an unnamed bidder on Saturday. Other items from the Titanic Henry & Aldridge and Son auction on November 11 included an “extremely rare” pocket watch belonging to Russian immigrant and second-class passenger Sinai Kantor, who died in the disaster, as well as a selection of promotional posters for the liner.