World Record $366,000 Titanic plan marks doomed ship's 100th anniversary

Commemorative events are taking place in Belfast today to mark the 100th anniversary of RMS Titanic's launch. The ship left Harland & Wolff shipyard on May 31 1911, 11 months before its fatal maiden voyage.

Meanwhile, a plan of the Titanic used in the inquest into its sinking sold for £220,000 at a nicely-timed auction over the weekend...

The document brought well above its £150,000 estimate and a World Record price for a Titanic artefact at auction - evidence, if any were needed, that the tale of the Titanic continues to enthrall alternative investors.

The 33-foot long technical drawing is marked with arrows and notes, depicting where survivors of the disaster thought the iceberg had struck.

It was used during the British Board of Trade's 36-day inquiry between May and July 1912, which took place just weeks after the disaster.

No second or third class passengers were asked to attend the inquest

Ninety-six witnesses were called to the investigation, including crew members and maritime experts. It concluded that excessive speed was to blame for the disaster.

Only three passengers were questioned - all of them first class travellers.

Alan Aldridge of auctioneer Henry Aldridge & Son commented: "The plan is one of the most important pieces of Titanic memorabilia ever sold and this price reflects it."

In the end, the plan was bought by a private collector.

Around 5,500 historic objects have been recovered from the wreck since its discovery in 1985, and several have commanded large prices at auction. A picture frame fashioned from Titanic driftwood sold for $16,450 at Bonhams in 2005.

The story of Millvina Dean, the youngest survivor of the Titanic, continues to captivate collectors. Dean died last year, and her signature remains highly sought after.

To mark the ship's maiden voyage, an interactive visitor centre is due to open in Belfast next year.


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