Titanic Menu Auction
Lion Heart Autographs announces unprecedented auction of rare RMS Titanic artifacts.
Lion Heart Autographs, for nearly forty years, an internationally recognized dealer of autographs and manuscripts focusing on art, history, literature, music and science, has announced an extraordinary auction of three very rare and previously unknown artifacts recovered from survivors of the RMS Titanic’s infamous Lifeboat No. 1 known the world over as “The Millionaire’s Boat,” or “The Money Boat.” Lifeboat No. 1 was lowered from the Titanic with just five wealthy passengers and seven crew members, who quickly rowed away without trying to rescue anyone else.
The largest and most opulent passenger ship of its time, the RMS Titanic, now more famous for its tragic end than its majesty, created a worldwide sensation when it departed on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England on April 11, 1912. The ship’s owner, The White Star Line, promised its wealthy clientele (including John Jacob Astor IV, one of the world’s richest men), an extravagantly luxurious trip across the Atlantic Ocean. On April 14, 1912, a moonless evening with calm seas, the dazzlingly elegant voyage turned into a night of terror after the ship collided with a massive iceberg that ripped a 300 foot gash along the vessel’s starboard side. The catastrophic loss of more than 1500 men, women and children became the most famous maritime disaster of all time and the subject of several award-winning films, dozens of documentaries and tens of thousands of books, songs and poems.
None of the stories told by any of the 705 survivors who escaped death is more riveting than that of Lifeboat No.1. It was investigated by the British government, examined by historians, and reviled by both the public and the families of those lost at sea.
Among the spectacularly rare Titanic memorabilia will be a letter and envelope written by Lifeboat No. 1 survivor Mabel Francatelli (1880-1967) on New York’s Plaza Hotel stationery six months after the disaster (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000). Francatelli was a First Class passenger who survived the sinking of the Titanic by boarding Lifeboat No.1 with her employer, fashion designer Lucy Duff-Gordon (1863-1935), her husband, wealthy Scottish nobleman Cosmo Duff-Gordon (1862-1931) and two other passengers, including Abraham Lincoln Salomon (1868-1959), the letter’s recipient.
Cosmo Duff-Gordon who, with his wife, were the only passengers interrogated by the British Inquest into the ship’s loss, had been rumored to have bribed the seven crewmen to row away from the crippled Titanic, leaving more than 1500 to drown in the icy water. Francatelli reports:
“We do hope you have now quite recovered from the terrible experience. I am afraid our nerves are still bad, as we had such trouble & anxiety added to our already awful experience by the very unjust inquiry when we arrived in London”.
The most spectacular artifact to be offered for sale is an original Menu from the last luncheon served aboard the Titanic (Estimate $50,000-$70,000) formerly owned by Salomon, who miraculously saved this menu (and the weighing ticket) before escaping the sinking ship and climbing aboard Lifeboat No.1. It is signed on the back in pencil by yet another First Class passenger, New Yorker, Isaac Gerald Frauenthal (1868-1932) who had likely eaten lunch with Salomon earlier that day, before jumping into Lifeboat No.5 hours later.