The Titanic‘s Centennial Auction: Want to Buy a Piece of Her Hull?

by Owen James Burke

Titanic survivors approach the rescue ship, the Carpathia on April 15, 1912.

As the centennial of the R.M.S. Titanic’s sinking approaches, a trove of artifacts from her sinking are being offered to the public through auction in the next coming months.

Along with the debris left floating behind in the weeks following the sinking of the great leviathan, many other artifacts have resurfaced from private collections too, including photographs, original deck plans for the ship, and a broken music box that fashion writer Edith Russel clung to throughout her time on the liferaft. There are also a few things that will not be sold, said an owner of Heritage, a British auction house:

“We won’t sell anything physically from the seabed,” so the hull will remain intact, but they will be auctioning rust encrustations of the hull for $6,000 a piece starting in May, and everything else is fair game.

Historical documents dealer and collector Eric C. Caren told the New York Times: “One item that I may give Swann [Auction Galleries] is an actual [4″ x 7″] piece of the ship picked up as floating wreckage by the Minia in April of 1912.” Imagine having that for a centerpiece on your living room table.

It would appear that most of these newly released artifacts are photographs, for those were probably the easiest belongings for passengers to salvage, and as debris, it’s likely that they would have been the last to begin sinking.

John Pillsbury Snyder, a Minnesota grain-mill heir, and bride, Nelle, disembark the Carpathia on April 18, 1912, post-rescue

An auction held in New York on October 21st offered a collection of photographs from a pair of honeymooners who were quick to find a seat on a lifeboat while others on deck continued to fool themselves into thinking that the titanic really was ‘unsinkable.’

An ice field at sea, taken around the time of her sinking

There will also be an auction in Bath, England on October 29th, and another in New York on December 1st, with most photographs expected to auction for $3,000 to $5,000 each.

To find out about the auctions, read more:

*nytimes, cbsnews, encyclopedia-titanica*

Facebook Comments