103 years after the Titanic met its unfortunate end, a tattered menu, detailing the last lunch served to its first-class passengers, has been sold, at an recent auction, for a staggering $88,000. Nearly the same as the price of a luxury sports car, the document, dated April 14, 1912, reveals that the wealthy guests dined on a variety of delicacies, including soused herring, “fillets of brill” and grilled mutton chops, the day before the ocean liner hit an iceberg and sank into the northern Atlantic Ocean.
The menu, in question, originally belonged to Abraham Lincoln Salomon, the New York-based owner of a wholesale stationery business. He was one of the few people who escaped on board the first lifeboat, infamously known as the “Money Boat”. Instead of carrying 40 people as it was built to accommodate, it set off from the sinking ship with just 12 individuals – five first-class guests and seven crew members. It has since been rumored that the rich passengers promised the crewmen money to row the boat away, instead of waiting for other people.
Tucked into Salomon’s jacket pocket were two pieces of paper: the luncheon menu and a ticket for the weighing chair in the ship’s Turkish baths, with the names of three other first-class passengers printed on it. In an auction, held last week, the bath ticket was sold for around $11,000, while a letter sent to Salomon by Laura Mabel Francatelli, one of the five guests on board the first lifeboat, six months after the Titanic tragedy, brought in another $7,500.
The menu, which was initially expected to fetch about $50,000, was ultimately sold for nearly $88,000 to an unknown buyer. The officials at Invaluable.com and Lion Heart Autographs, the auction houses conducting the sale, believe that the buyer might be related to one of the 700 Titanic survivors.