Titanic menu and deck plan to net €127k

A deck plan and the only surviving menu from the Titanic’s first-class restaurant are expected to be sold for up to £100,000 (€127,132) at auction next week.

The deck plan was used by Elise Lurette to find her way to the lifeboats after the passenger liner hit an iceberg in April 1912.

More than 1,500 passengers and crew drowned but Ms Lurette, a 59-year-old French-born maid, survived.

The plan was given only to first-class passengers. Ms Lurette, who worked for the wealthy Spencer family, wrote on it “Depart le 10 Avril” and marked the paper plan with a cross to indicate the location of her cabin.

Also in Ms Lurette’s coat pocket when she was rescued was a lunch menu, dated April 12.

The choice in the first-class restaurant included mutton chops, roast beef, Melton Mowbray pie, lamb and mint sauce, ox tongue, tapioca pudding and greengage tart.

Titanic menu and deck plan to net €127k

After managing to find a lifeboat, Ms Lurette sat alongside her employer, Marie Spencer, in lifeboat number six.

She kept the documents and left them to her family before her death the following year.

The documents, which have remained in the Lurette family, will be sold by Titanic memorabilia specialists Henry Aldridge & Son, in Devizes,Wiltshire on October 18.

The deck plan is expected to sell for £16,000 and the menu, which is believed to be the first from lunch on April 12 to go under the hammer, is tipped to sell for £70,000.

A third document that makes up the archive is a fine postcard the maid sent to her nephew from the Titanic when it stopped off at Queenstown (now Cobh) in Co Cork, which is expected to fetch £6,000.

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said: “The archive is an exceptional one.

“To have a menu, especially one from lunch on April 12 that survived the sinking in Ms Lurette’s coat pocket, alongside a first-class deck plan, which was used on the Titanic and has remained in the family for over a century, is unheard of.

“Elise was rescued in lifeboat number six and was severely traumatised by her experiences, recalling the screams of those in the water and their attempts to climb into the lifeboat.”

Also being sold next week is a letter written by the Titanic’s chief engineer, Joseph Bell, to his son, which describes a near-miss the ship had as it left Southampton on its ill-fated maiden voyage.

Mr Bell’s letter is estimated to fetch between £10,000 and £15,000.


Lifestyle

Put you and your loved ones' pop-culture knowledge to the test with Arts Editor Des O'Driscoll's three fiendishly fun quiz rounds.Scene and Heard: the Arts Ed's family entertainment quiz

A passion for heritage and the discovery of some nifty new software has resulted in an Irish architect putting colour on thousands of old photographs, writes Marjorie BrennanBringing the past to life

One colour, so many moods; Annmarie O'Connor prepares us to embrace pink.Trend of the Week: Prepare to embrace pink

With the constant washing, the skin on my hands has become dry and brittle.Natural Health: Constant washing is damaging my hands

More From The Irish Examiner