Following on swiftly from last week's auction at Philip Weiss at which a collection by two letters written by Titanic survivor John Snyder brought over $100,000, another high quality piece of memorabilia went under the hammer: a plan of the ship from two who did not survive.
The first class deck plan was owned by a rich New York couple Ida and Isidor Straus (the owner of Macey's department store), who died together on the ship. When the ship began sinking they sought life-boat places but Isidor was rebuffed due to the 'women and children first' policy.
Ida bravely decided to stay with him and face their fate together. The plan survived because their maid Ellen Bird took it with her on the boat. Bird died in 1949, and the plan has been held by a private collector until October 29 when it was sold by Henry Aldridge & Son.
The plan is headed 'White Star Line, Southampton-Cherbourg-New York Service, First Class Accommodation'. It's a reminder of the single most valuable piece of Titanic memorabilia ever sold at auction, sold by the same auctioneer.
That was the unique RMS Titanic Enquiry Profile sold on 28th May for a World Record £220,000. In this case, the plan is thought to be one of three still in existence, and was sold for £30,000.
Remarkably, a first class D deck toilet keys, which made £43,000 and the SS Birma log archive that documented the final signals Titanic sent, selling for £32,000.
We've frequently discussed the unique appeal of collectibles related to the sinking of ships at sea, and those associated with RMS Titanic are the most coveted of the lot. References to the ship have passed into idioms, not to mention a multi-Oscar winning film and there will never be a disaster quite like it again.
There are no longer any survivors of the Titanic - a cause for regret for the large number of collectors who specialise in collecting memorabilia from the voyage, keeping its prices high. Millvina Dean was the last to die, having been an infant during the Titanic's only voyage.
She had no memory of the voyage, but it shaped her life in that her father died in the tragedy and there were endless Titanic conventions which she was always being asked to attend.
If you are looking for a connection with the Titanic, you may well be interested in this example of Millvina Dean's autograph which we currently have available.