Titanic menu expected to fetch up to £70,000 at auction

Titanic menu Image copyright Henry Aldridge & Sons
Image caption The document dated April 12 1912 is the only surviving menu from the Titanic's first-class restaurant

A menu from the Titanic's first-class restaurant which survived the sinking in a passenger's coat pocket is expected to fetch £70,000 at auction.

It was owned by Elise Lurette, who was one of about 700 people who survived after the passenger liner hit an iceberg in April 1912.

She was working as a maid for a family travelling on the ship when it sank.

The document will go under the hammer at Henry Aldridge and Son auctioneers in Devizes, Wiltshire, on 18 October.

Items on the menu, which is dated 12 April, included mutton chops, Melton Mowbray pie and tapioca pudding.

Deck plan

A deck plan used by French-born Ms Lurette to help find her way to a lifeboat on the ill-fated ship, which sank on its maiden voyage, killing about 1,500 people, is also included in the sale.

The plan was given only to first-class passengers and Ms Lurette wrote on it 'Depart le 10 Avril' and marked it with a cross to indicate the location of her cabin.

It is expected to sell for £16,000.

Image copyright Henry Aldridge & Sons
Image caption Also being auctioned is a postcard Ms Lurette sent to her nephew when the Titanic stopped at Queenstown in Ireland

Ms Lurette kept the documents and left them to her family when she died the year after the disaster aged 60.

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said: "To have a menu, especially one from lunch on 12 April 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 is a postcard Ms Lurette sent to her nephew from the Titanic when it stopped off at Queenstown in Ireland, which is expected to sell for £6,000.

And 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, is estimated to fetch between £10,000 and £15,000.

In March 2012, a menu of the last meal served to first class passengers on board the Titanic sold for £76,000 by the same auctioneers.

In November the same year, a first class lunch menu from the Titanic sold for £64,000.

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