Over the years, interest in the sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic has only increased. Books have been written, movies have been released and professionals have participated in dives to where the ship sits. Many of those dives have resulted in bringing up items from the wreckage from the April 14, 1912 disaster.

Even filmmaker James Cameron, who directed, wrote, produced, and co-edited the hit “Titanic” made his way to the sunken ship several times. About his trips, he said, “I made ‘Titanic’ because I wanted to dive to the shipwreck, not because I particularly wanted to make the movie.”

Of the 2,223 passengers and crew who were on board the Titanic, only 706 survived. Even though it was primarily a passenger line, the RMS part stood for “Royal Mail Ship” which meant that it was under contract with the British Monarchy and the U.S. Government to carry mail. Among the dead in the Titanic tragedy were five postal workers (three of which were Americans). Documents and letters from the on-board post office have been recovered and collected. Collectors have always been eager to get their hands on those kinds of items and other person effects – and recently some were able to buy some Titanic “memorabilia” at an auction.

Items sold at a recent auction include…

First-class Menu

A rare, most likely one-of-a-kind first-class menu from the Titanic sold for $102K. The auction house, Henry Aldridge and Son Ltd., said that the menu shows what the Titanic’s most well-to-do passengers ate for dinner three days before the ship struck an iceberg that caused it to sink in the Atlantic Ocean within hours. The menu, dated April 11th, was heavily water-stained and had some lettering partly erased. Dinner the first night of the doomed voyage included choices of oysters, salmon, spring lamb with mint sauce, roast chicken and more.

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A tartan blanket used by a survivor to stay warm on a lifeboat was auctioned off and sold for $117K. It features the logo for White Star Line, the British company who owned and operated the Titanic. According to the auction house, the blanket was used on a lifeboat and then taken on a rescue ship to New York where it was acquired by a White Star official.

A Pocket Watch

A pocket watch belonging to Sinai Kantor, 34, a Russian immigrant traveling to the United States in second class, was recovered with its hands stopped at 2:25 a.m., most likely marking the moment Kantor entered the cold water before he died. The watch sold for $119K. His wife, Miriam, who survived the tragedy, received his belongings after his body was recovered from the Atlantic.

Over the years, many items have been recovered, sold and collected from the Titanic including the violin that Wallace Hartley played as the Titanic sank, selling for $1.7 million. Hartley is considered by many to be a hero, having his band continue to play to keep people calm. Other items bought by individuals and museums over the years include personal items of the passengers and crew (memo books, letters, etc.) and items from the Titanic itself including bowls, pieces of the hull, a fog horn, flags, chairs, cutlery, etc.

And for those who want to experience what the Titanic was like before it sank, Pigeon Forge in Tennessee offers the “world’s largest Titanic museum attraction.” Their website says that visitors can “experience what it was like to walk the hallways, parlors, cabins and Grand Staircase of
the Titanic while surrounded by more than 400 artifacts directly from the ship and its passengers.”

They can also reach their hands into 28-degree water and try to stand on the sloping decks. Each guest entering the ship will receive a boarding pass of an actual Titanic passenger or crew where they will be able to discover the passenger or crew’s fate in the Titanic Memorial Room.