NYC auction offering Titanic-related artifacts

Associated Press Modified: April 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm •  Published: April 6, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — An admission ticket to the launch of the Titanic and a first-class dinner menu for the ocean liner's first night at sea are among dozens of Titanic-related artifacts being auctioned this month, exactly 100 years after the ship struck an iceberg and sank.

The Bonhams auction on April 15 also includes a handwritten account by Arthur Rostron, the captain of the Carpathia, the first ship to arrive on the disaster scene after picking up the Titanic's distress call.

The letter, with a pre-sale estimate of $90,000 to $120,000, offers "a full account and timeline of what happened from the moment the Titanic struck the iceberg to the time the ship sank," Gregg K. Dietrich, Bonhams' maritime art consultant, said Friday.

Nearly all of the 88 documents and objects relate to either the crew or the passengers aboard the ship or to the actual April 15, 1912, disaster.

The Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg the night before during its maiden passage from Southampton, England, to New York.

The VIP launch ticket is dated May 31, 1911, and "is the only known example to have the admittance stub intact," Dietrich said. It is estimated to sell for $50,000 to $70,000.

Also for sale are 35 of the 37 messages from the signal book of the Titanic's sister ship, the Olympic.

The first message, from the Titanic to the Olympic, which was 550 miles away, says: Titanic sending out signals of distress ... WE HAVE STRUCK AN ICEBERG." It is expected to bring $25,000-$35,000.

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