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10 Items From the Titanic That Were Sold For Exorbitant Amounts

 The sinking of the RMS Titanic during her maiden voyage is still recounted as one of the greatest tragedies in the world, resulting in the deaths of over 1,500 passengers and crew members. Legends surrounding the ship that hit an iceberg have grown over years, inspiring numerous films and documentaries. The stories of survivors continue to amaze and inspire many to this day.

As time passes, more and more has been discovered about this majestic royal liner, not only about the people on board, but also the things on board with them. In fact, among the many stories of survival are those of the artifacts and belongings of passengers and crew, many of which also survived, even if they were unearthed years after the sinking of the ship. These items remain today and forever a part of the tragic events that occurred on April 15th, 1912. So it's no surprise that some of those items, like these 10 found treasures and memorabilia that survived, sold for thousands and even millions of dollars. After all, how much would you pay to own an important piece of history?

1. A Rosette From the Titanic’s Grand Staircase

Highest valued items and memorabilia that survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic, A Rosette From the Titanic’s Grand Staircase, $32,000 (£20,000 at the time)

(Youtube)

While this hunk of wood may not appear to be much, this is, in fact, one of the rarest pieces one can find: a wooden rosette that sat upon the ship’s Grand Staircase and an actual piece of the Titanic’s iconic artistry and design. In a stroke of luck, this piece of wood was salvaged, preserved, and finally sold for nearly $32,000 (£20,000 at the time).  

2. Launch Ticket for the Titanic

Highest valued items and memorabilia that survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic, Passenger Launch/Admission Ticket for the Titanic, $48,000 (£30,000 at the time)

(Youtube)  

A seemingly innocuous item, this ticket is one of the few surviving documents of admission held by most passengers of the Titanic. Two such launch tickets out of only a handful that still exists were sold by Auctioneers Aldridge & Son, for the hefty sum of roughly $48,000 (£30,000). The auction occurred on the 100th anniversary of the tragic event in 2012, during which numerous other salvaged items were sold.  

3. The Titanic’s First Class Deck Plan 

Highest valued items and memorabilia that survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic, The Titanic’s First Class Deck Plan, belonging to elderly couple, $49,000 (£31,000 at the time)

(Youtube)  

A deck plan doesn’t seem like an item that would normally fetch high prices. However, only 324 passengers, the first to arrive, were given a copy of the ship's deck plan. Only 3 such plans are believed to still exist today. While this photograph shows us the deck plan currently held in the National Archives, one of the original plans belonging to an elderly couple aboard the ship was auctioned off for $49,000 (£31,000). 

4. Lifejackets

Highest valued items and memorabilia that survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic, lifejacket, $55,000 (£34,000 at the time)

(Youtube)

The lifejackets aboard the Titanic had a short-lived shelf life before they were put to work, and can be accredited with saving the lives of many onboard the ship that scarring day. Only 6 lifejackets remain intact today and they are preserved either in museums or private collections. One particular jacket made history when it was sold for the high price of $55,000 (£34,000). 

5. A Pocket Watch 

Highest valued items and memorabilia that survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic, Silver pocket watch of Sinai Kantor, $57,500

(By Digiblue, Wikimedia Commons)   

At least 2 pocket watches are known to have been discovered in the wreckage of the Titanic. One is believed to have belonged to a steward on the ship named Edmund Stone and was returned to his widow. The other was a silver pocket watch with engravings on the back, purportedly belonging to a Russian immigrant aboard the ship named Sinai Kantor, which sold at a Heritage Auction for a little over $57,000. 

6. Titanic’s Photo Archive 

Highest valued items and memorabilia that survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic, Titanic photo archive with photo of the iceberg, $100,000

(Youtube)  

Many images of the historic ship in her shining glory and photos of her terrifying end made their way to the public over time. However, in 2011, one particular archive of never-before-seen photographs raised heads at a Philip Weiss Auction in Long Island. It contained a now-legendary photo of the iceberg that caused it all, which was marked with a streak of paint reportedly left behind by the colliding cruise ship. There were also photos of the immediate aftermath, as people fled the sinking ship. The entire set of photographs sold for slightly more than $100,000. 

7. The Rarest Set of Keys

Highest valued items and memorabilia that survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic, keys to post room found on body of Postmaster Oscary Woody, $160,000  (£101,000 at the time)

(Youtube)  

The Royal Mail Ship (RMS) Titanic had a team of 5 loyal postal workers as a part of their crew. Though all 5 tragically went down with the ship, this set of keys was recovered from the body of one of them, American Sea Post Clerk and Postmaster of the Titanic, Oscar Woody. This large piece of history consists of 3 keys on a 24-inch chain, at least one of which is believed to have been the key to the post room. They were sold in the anniversary auction for approximately $160,000  (£101,000 at the time). 

8. A Life-saving Fur Coat

Highest valued items and memorabilia that survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic, fur coat belonging to stewardess Mabel Bennett, $195,000 (£150,000 at the time)

(Youtube)  

Not found among the wreckage, but among the survivors of the ordeal, was a fur coat worn by a Ms. Mabel Bennett, a stewardess aboard the ship on its maiden voyage. According to her niece, whom she gave the coat to, this garment was what kept her from freezing on the night of the collision, when onboard a lifeboat in only her nightgown. It was on display in a museum before being sold in 2017 at a Henry Aldridge & Son Auction for twice its estimated fare, $195,000 (£150,000 at the time). 

9. The Titanic’s Plan

Highest valued items and memorabilia that survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic, The Titanic’s Plan used during the official enquiry, $352,000 (£220,000 at the time)

(Youtube)  

Unlike the deck plans handed out to the passengers, this plan was 33 feet long and laid out every minute detail of the monumental ship. It gained special significance after the accident as it helped witnesses and experts alike determine where the iceberg struck and how the damage had been caused, during the official inquiry of the incident. It was another piece sold at the anniversary auction for the heavy price of $352,000 (£220,000 at the time). 

10. The Bandleader’s Violin 

Highest valued items and memorabilia that survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic, Violin belonging to bandleader Wallace Hartley, $1.7 million (£1.1 million at the time) 

(Youtube)  

One of the most long-lived legends from the many events that unfolded that woeful night, was the act of Wallace Hartley, the bandleader on the Titanic, who picked up his violin to lead his band in playing a number to calm passengers as the ship sank. His empty violin case was reported with him when his body was recovered. The violin itself was discovered later and an engraved silver plaque was eventually adorned upon the violin to honor Hartley. It was finally sold in 2013 for $1.7 million (£1.1 million at the time)

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