From crow's nest keys to last-lunch menu, the six Titanic treasures that cost millions


The violin that played until the last minute before the Titanic sank recently fetched a record price of R14 million at auction. It was bought by a British investor. The instrument was found on the body of the leader of the orchestra, Wallace Hartley, 14 days after the ship’s tragic sinking.

We take a look at five other Titanic mementoes that have sold at high prices.

1 The plan of the ship

The 32-foot plan of the ship was used during the investigation of the disaster. In 2011 it was sold for about R3,5 million. The investigation in May 1912 included interviews with about 100 witnesses and declarations by various maritime experts.

2 Edmund Stone’s pocket watch

Edmund was a first class cabin attendant who died in the disaster. The hands of his watch, which was found on his body, were frozen at 2.16 am. The watch was sold for R1,5 million in October 2008.

3 Crow’s nest’s keys

The keys to the locker in the crow’s nest where the binoculars were kept, were sold for R1,4 million in 2009. When the ship sailed the keys were in the pocket of crew member David Blair, who at the last minute didn’t make the voyage. He had forgotten to hand them to his replacement. In a later investigation a crew member was asked if the binoculars would have helped to see the iceberg. Fred Fleet said they would have helped the ship avoid the iceberg.

4 Keys for cabins E1 – E42

The set of keys for cabins E1 – E42 was also found on Edmund Stone’s body because he was responsible for them. In 2008 they sold for about R1,3 million.

5 Menu from the last lunch

The menu offered 40 food choices and was found in the handbag of Ruth Dodge, a first class passenger who survived the tragedy with her husband, banker Dr Washington Dodge, and their son.

Last year it sold for about R1 million.


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