April 15 marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. The tragedy, in which 1,522 people lost their lives, has remained a powerful part of our cultural fabric through films, books and television shows ever since.
The market for historic Titanic memorabilia goes from strength to strength each year, and 2012 has recently seen numerous relics and artefacts sold at auction.
Here we present a list of the five most expensive items ever sold.
5) Master key for cabins E1-E42
Edmund Stone was a First Class Steward on the Titanic, responsible for cabins E1 - E42. He lost his life in the disaster, but his memory lived on through the artefacts recovered from his body which were sent to his widow in Southampton.
This collection of his personal affects was sold at auction in October 2008 through the U.K auction house Henry Aldridge and Son, specialists in Titanic memorabilia.
His set of master keys for cabins E1 - E42 was purchased by a U.S collector for a price of £84,000.
4) Last Titanic Lunch Menu
In April 2012, a First-Class menu from the last lunch ever served on the Titanicwas sold by Henry Aldridge and Son.
The menu illustrated the luxury of the liner, offering 40 different options for the sitting. It survived in the handbag of Ruth Dodge, a First-Class passenger and wife of the prominent San Francisco banker Dr Washington Dodge, who survived the tragedy along with her son.
Menus from the Titanic have proven highly popular with collectors and this example was particularly prized, as it bore the fateful date 'April 14'.
It was sold for a record price of £76,000.
3) Crow's Nest keys
In 2007 a set of keys which could have changed history were sold at auction by Henry Aldridge and Son.
The keys unlocked the crow's nest locker containing a set of binoculars, but they never made it onto the ship and the ship's lookouts were forced to scan for danger using the naked eye.
The keys remained in the pocket of Second Officer David Blair, who was bumped from the voyage at the last moment and forgot to hand them in to his replacement.
When asked at a later enquiry if a pair of binoculars would have helped them spot the iceberg sooner, lookout Fred Fleet stated "Enough to get out of the way."
The set of keys sold for a price of £90,000.
2) Edmund Stone's pocket watch
The second of Edmund Stone's personal affects to feature on this list is his pocket watch and chain. The hands of the watch were poignantly frozen at 2.16, the exact moment Stone entered the freezing waters of the Atlantic to which he would later succumb.
The watch, which literally captured a historic moment in time, was sold by Henry Aldridge and Son in October 2008 for a then-World record price of £94,000.
1) Titanic Longitudinal ship plan
The record for the most expensive piece of titanic memorabilia is currently held by a 32ft plan of the ship, used during the inquiry into its sinking.
The British inquiry was held in May 1912, and involved the questioning of nearly 100 witnesses along with testimonies from White Star Line officials and maritime experts.
The plan, drawn up by the Naval Architects Department of White Star Line, was used extensively throughout the inquiry and was described as "the Holy Grail of Titanic memorabilia".
It was sold by Henry Aldridge and Son in May 2011 for a record price of £220,000.
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