Titanic Launch Menu to be Auctioned
One of the Rarest Menus in
Estimated to Sell for over
Henry Aldridge and Son, the world’s
leading auctioneers of Titanic memorabilia are holding an auction of
Titanic and Transport memorabilia on November 24th. It is 100 years
since the Royal Mail Steamer Titanic struck an iceberg and sank on her
maiden voyage on April 15th 1912 with the loss of over 1500 lives.
RMS Titanic sank with the loss of over 1500 lives in the
early hours of April 15th 1912 and is widely regarded as the most famous
shipping disaster of all time. But little more than eleven months before
she was launched into a wave of optimisim at Harland and Wolff in
Belfast. Widely regarded as the largest manmade object ever moved at
that time, her launch attracted over 100000 people.
At nearly noon on 31st May 1911 a rocket was fired into
the air signaling the impending launch and warning small ships to steer
clear. Soon after, there was another rocket and the launch of the
vessel, now weighing about 26000 tons, was underway.
In just over a minute, Titanic was in the water
and riding high both figuratively and literally due to its relatively
light weight. Of course, no celebration would be complete without a
feast and Titanic was no exception.
This menu is one of a handful if not the only example to
survive from the VIP lunch that celebrated her launch in style. This was
a formal luncheon sponsored by Harland & Wolff and held in the Grand
Central Hotel, Belfast. According to contemporary press reports
approximately 69 prominent people were in attendance including Luigi
Gatti, who would later be manager of Titanic's a la carte
restaurant. Members of the press enjoyed a later meal at the same hotel,
also sponsored by the shipyard, it is at this later lunch that it is
reputed the Titanic gained her moniker as "Unsinkable". The main VIP
luncheon consisted of 12 lavish courses including eggs stuffed with foie
gras, turtle soup and Sussex capon. Ponche at la Romaine was served as a
palate cleanser made from lemon water ice, champagne and rum, a drink
that ironically was also served to First Class passengers on Titanic.
The courses were matched with the finest wines and spirits to guarantee
the enjoyment of those in attendance. Memorabilia from the launch is
among the rarest Titanic material in existence today and is on a
par with items from her final hours prior to her collision with an
iceberg on April 14th 1912.
Fully illustrated colour catalogues are now available at
a cost of £20 plus postage; please visit www.henry-aldridge.com for