A lunch menu showcasing the final first class meal offered to Titanic’s affluent travelers is heading to auction and is expected to fetch a hefty haul. The auction will mark the 30th anniversary of the discovery of the British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Writes The Associated Press, via MSN News: “The Titanic’s last lunch menu is going to auction and is estimated to bring $50,000 to $70,000. Online New York auctioneer Lion Heart Autographs is offering it along with two other previously unknown artifacts from Lifeboat 1 on Sept. 30.”
The menu, dated April 14, 1912 – one day before the maritime disaster – features such offerings such as cockie leekie soup, fillet of brill, grilled mutton chops, Norwegian anchovies, veal and ham pie, corned ox tongue and iced draught Munich lager.
The menu was preserved by Abraham Lincoln Salomon, one of the few first-class passengers who made it into a lifeboat. Saloman, who died in 1959, once wrote that the “manor on the sea” was truly thought unsinkable, but that if he “could take [the sinking] back,” he wouldn’t since “being a part of history is a great feeling.”
Saloman’s lunch menu is signed on the reverse by another first-class passenger, Isaac Gerald Frauenthal, who was thought to have dined with Saloman.
Adds the New York Post, which carried a photo of the menu: “Salomon also took away a printed ticket from the Titanic’s opulent Turkish baths, which recorded a person’s weight when seated in a specially designed upholstered lounge chair. It bears the names of three of the five other first-class passengers with him on Lifeboat 1. One of four weighing-chair tickets known to exist, it’s estimated it will bring $7,500 to $10,000.”
A third artifact – a letter written to Saloman by Mabel Francatelli on New York’s Plaza Hotel stationery – is thought to fetch approximately $5,000. Francatelli was rescued along with her employer, fashion designer Lucy Duff-Gordon. Lucy’s husband, Lord Cosmo Duff-Gordon, is said to have bribed the lifeboat operator to row away with the boat at just over one-quarter capacity.
The Duff-Gordons were eventually cleared by the British Wreck Commissioner’s inquiry, which ruled that the couple did not bribe any crew members. Francatelli’s letter speaks of the “disgraceful” press coverage they endured at the time.
“We do hope you have now quite recovered from the terrible experience,” Francatelli wrote to Salomon. “I am afraid our nerves are still bad, as we had such trouble and anxiety added to our already awful experience by the very unjust inquiry when we arrived in London.”
The AP report says the lunch menu “was saved by a passenger who escaped in the so-called ‘Money Boat’ before the ocean liner went down. The lifeboat got its nickname because of unfounded rumors that one of the first-class passengers bribed crew members to row away with 12 people on a boat with a capacity of 40.”