An unprecedented collection of Titanic memorabilia will be up for auction in June, with hundreds of items reclaimed from the wreckage brought together for what may be the only time.
Guernsey's Auction House will hold The Titanic Auction at the South Street Seaport Museum in New York on June 10.
Three collectors, who have been gathering the memorabilia for a long time, decided the time was right to sell, said Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey's Auction House.
Those interested in the merchandise should be prepared to pay handsomely for souvenirs of the tragedy. For example, there were 290 pieces created originally for the captain's table on the Titanic, and very few are left, Ettinger said. A demitasse cup and saucer from the ship's captain's table are expected to go for $20,000 to $25,000.
A deck chair from the Titanic is expected to fetch anywhere between $50,000 to $60,000, Ettinger said. Only four to five Titanic deck chairs have been authenticated as such. Three are in museums, and one will be at the auction. The chair was at the Manitoba Titanic Museum, and was recovered by a vessel at the scene of the disaster. The cane seat was replaced, but it is otherwise original, Ettinger said.
Even items that were not on the ship, such as a painting of the vessel completed for the Oscar-winning film Titanic, is expected to bring in an offer of $30,000 to $40,000.
Here is a sampling of some of the items that will be up for auction, with estimates of how much they may go for.
An 82-inch long model of the RMS Titanic. Estimate: $15,000 to $18,000
Painting of Titanic by Ken Marchall: Estimate: $30,000 to $40,000. First class dinner menu from the Titanic.
White Star Line third class menu from the Titanic.
Cobalt blue and gold demitasse cup and saucer. Estimate: $20,000 to $25,000
Spode OSNC soup bowl: white with cobalt blue border. Estimate: $1,500 to $2,000
Titanic Wooden Folding Deck Chair. Estimate: $50,000 to $60,000.
Life jacket. Estimate: $30,000 to $40,000.
Two framed, full-color postcards from onboard the Titanic. Estimate: $20,000 to $25,000
S.S. Titanic Lifeboat Plaque and Photo: Estimate: $75,000 to $100,000.
The Gill Collection
John Gill, a second-class passenger onboard the Titanic, had courted Sarah Elizabeth Wilton Hoder for two years before he married her. On April 2, 1912, he left his bride in England and purchased a second-class ticket for the Titanic's maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. He intended to set up a new home for himself and Sarah in America. He did not survive the Titanic disaster, but some of his belongings did, and are part of the auction.
Canvas Bag 155, the canvas bag that held John Gill's personal belongings. Estimate: $25,000 to $30,000 Marriage certificate dated 2/14/1912 for the marriage of John Gill to Sarah Elizabeth Hodder. Estimate: $5,000 to $6,000
Letter from the solicitor to Sarah Gill. Estimate: $5,000 to $7,500
Gill relief fund check. Estimate: $2,500 to $3,500
Autographed copy of A Night To Remember signed by George Thomas (Titanic survivor). Estimate: $1,000 to $1,250
To order the catalogue or find out more details about the auction, visit the auction house's Web site, www.guernseys.com.