Titanic items up for auction

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Brad Hall

I saw this on the abcnews.com website. Wish I could afford to go.


N E W Y O R K, May 12, 2004 – An unprecedented collection of Titanic memorabilia will be up for auction in June, with hundreds of items reclaimed from the wreckage brought together for what may be the only time

Guernsey's Auction House will hold The Titanic Auction at the South Street Seaport Museum in New York on June 10.

Three collectors, who have been gathering the memorabilia for a long time, decided the time was right to sell, said Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey's Auction House.

Those interested in the merchandise should be prepared to pay handsomely for souvenirs of the tragedy. For example, there were 290 pieces created originally for the captain's table on the Titanic, and very few are left, Ettinger said. A demitasse cup and saucer from the ship's captain's table are expected to go for $20,000 to $25,000.

A deck chair from the Titanic is expected to fetch anywhere between $50,000 to $60,000, Ettinger said. Only four to five Titanic deck chairs have been authenticated as such. Three are in museums, and one will be at the auction. The chair was at the Manitoba Titanic Museum, and was recovered by a vessel at the scene of the disaster. The cane seat was replaced, but it is otherwise original, Ettinger said.

Even items that were not on the ship, such as a painting of the vessel completed for the Oscar-winning film Titanic, is expected to bring in an offer of $30,000 to $40,000.

Here is a sampling of some of the items that will be up for auction, with estimates of how much they may go for.

An 82-inch long model of the RMS Titanic. Estimate: $15,000 to $18,000
Painting of Titanic by Ken Marchall: Estimate: $30,000 to $40,000.

First class dinner menu from the Titanic.
White Star Line third class menu from the Titanic.
Cobalt blue and gold demitasse cup and saucer. Estimate: $20,000 to $25,000
Spode OSNC soup bowl: white with cobalt blue border. Estimate: $1,500 to $2,000
Titanic Wooden Folding Deck Chair. Estimate: $50,000 to $60,000.
Life jacket. Estimate: $30,000 to $40,000.
Two framed, full-color postcards from onboard the Titanic. Estimate: $20,000 to $25,000
S.S. Titanic Lifeboat Plaque and Photo: Estimate: $75,000 to $100,000.

The Gill Collection

John Gill, a second-class passenger onboard the Titanic, had courted Sarah Elizabeth Wilton Hoder for two years before he married her. On April 2, 1912, he left his bride in England and purchased a second-class ticket for the Titanic's maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. He intended to set up a new home for himself and Sarah in America. He did not survive the Titanic disaster, but some of his belongings did, and are part of the auction.

Canvas Bag 155, the canvas bag that held John Gill's personal belongings. Estimate: $25,000 to $30,000

Marriage certificate dated 2/14/1912 for the marriage of John Gill to Sarah Elizabeth Hodder. Estimate: $5,000 to $6,000
Letter from the solicitor to Sarah Gill. Estimate: $5,000 to $7,500
Gill relief fund check. Estimate: $2,500 to $3,500
Autographed copy of A Night To Remember signed by George Thomas (Titanic survivor). Estimate: $1,000 to $1,250

To order the catalogue or find out more details about the auction, visit the auction house's Web site, www.guernseys.com.

Cornelius Thiessen

I'm no Titanic expert like you other folks here so someone help me out.Didn't one of the Titanic salvage companies state that whenever where ever possible they would return artifacts to the rightful owner or owners family? If so how did John Gill's possessions end up in private hands? Did he not have family that cared to keep those items?
This is precisely why I am opposed to salvage of the Titanic,people profiting on such a great catastrophe, and I'm not talking about movies,books, etc, but selling the actual artifacts.
We all have viewpoints here, this is mine and its not changing
Have a nice day all...

rene bergeron

Jun 16, 2001
Hi Cornelious, the Gill items where recovered from his body in 1912 and where put in a canvas bag the sent back home. His relatives decided to sell the items a few years back. These are not items that where recovered from the wreck. Hope this helps, Rene

Christine Geyer

A great lot of the Gill items where auctioned in Southampton by Henry Aldridge & Son. I think the canvas bag was part of the auction in 2002.


trevor ward powell

recently, i was given the opportunity to purchase a luncheon menu from aboard the rms adriatic, dating april 12, 1912. the seller also had a dinner menu from the same cruise dating april 11, the day titanic landed at queenstown. does anyone think that there is much valuable to these particular items?

Scott Newman

Jun 16, 2004
Trevor, my vote would say yes. If nothing else, there is plenty of interest in items of the White Star Line dating from that period. My suggestion to you would be start a new thread rather than discussing it here, and maybe post a few pictures.

trevor ward powell

thanks for the info and suggestions scott!
Jun 10, 1999
Let there be no misunderstanding..."reclaimed from the wreckage" as in the days/weeks following the disaster to the TITANIC.

I am certain the auction house is not pertaining to the *salvaged* items from TITANIC.

Michael A. Cundiff
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