Turns out the Titanic served food as rich and glamorous as its most famous passengers.
A menu for the liner’s dinner on April 11, 1912, is hitting the auction block, The New York Times reported on Thursday. The only known copy from that evening, it’s expected to hammer down for up to £70,000, or about $86,000. Along with the list of dishes being served that night, the menu shows an embossed red White Star Line flag and water damage.
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“Original Titanic menus, they’re just not discovered,” Andrew Aldridge, the managing director of Henry Aldridge & Son, the auction house selling the menu, told the Times. “We know where most of them are. So to have a completely fresh discovery of this nature and this caliber is very, very exciting.”
The menu, which is from three days before the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank, outlines a rich, extravagant meal for first-class guests. Their options included salmon with Hollandaise, spring lamb with mint sauce, sirloin of beef with horseradish cream, and mallard duck with port wine sauce. Sides ranged from purée parsnips to boiled new potatoes, while dessert could be Victoria pudding, apricots bordaloue, or French ice cream.
A few menus from the Titanic’s journey have shown up at auction in the past, setting a precedent for the high estimate. In 2012, a first-class menu from the liner’s last lunch sold for $120,000, while a menu from the last first-class dinner hammered down for $118,000 in 2015.
Along with the April 11 menu, Henry Aldridge & Son is selling other artifacts from the Titanic, including a tartan blanket recovered from a lifeboat (expected to fetch up to £100,000, or $122,568) and a pocket watch owned by a victim (with a high estimate of £80,000, or $98,054). It’s all part of a long history of Titanic items being sold to those fascinated with one of the worst maritime disasters in history.
“Items on the ship, and carried off by passengers or crew, or found floating in the sea have been sold for more than 50 years by survivors, their descendants, maritime memorabilia dealers and auction houses on both sides of the Atlantic,” Charles Haas, the president of the Titanic International Society, told The New York Times.
The first-class menu is just the latest example of that, giving us a peek into what life on the Titanic was like.