IT IS perhaps the most notorious maritime disaster ever, claiming the lives of more than 1,500 passengers and crew.
And artefacts from the doomed maiden voyage of the Titanic are set to be sold for up to £100,000 when a deck plan, the only surviving menu from the vessel’s first-class restaurant and a postcard are auctioned next week.
The deck plan was used by Elise Lurette to find her way to the lifeboats after the passenger liner hit an iceberg in April 1912.
While hundreds of passengers and crew drowned, Ms Lurette, a 59-year-old French-born maid, survived.
The plan was given only to first-class passengers, and Ms Lurette, who worked for the wealthy Spencer family, wrote on it “Depart le 10 Avril” and marked the paper plan with a cross to indicate the location of her cabin.
Also in Ms Lurette’s coat pocket when she was rescued was a lunch menu, dated April 12. The choice in the first-class restaurant included mutton chops, roast beef, Melton Mowbray pie, lamb and mint sauce, ox tongue, tapioca pudding and greengage tart.
After managing to find a lifeboat, Ms Lurette sat alongside her employer, Marie Spencer, in lifeboat number six. She kept the documents and left them to her family before her death the following year. The documents, which have remained in the Lurette family, will be sold by Titanic memorabilia specialists Henry Aldridge & Son, in Devizes, Wiltshire on October 18.
The deck plan is expected to sell for £16,000 and the menu is due to fetch £70,000. A third document that makes up the archive is a postcard the maid sent to her nephew from the Titanic when it stopped off at Queenstown in Ireland, which is expected to fetch £6,000.
Also being sold is a letter written by the Titanic’s chief engineer, Joseph Bell, to his son, which describes a near-miss the ship had as it left Southampton on its ill-fated maiden voyage and is due to fetch up to £15,000.