On Saturday 20 October, auction house Henry Aldridge & Son is hosting its ‘Titanic, White Star and Transport’ sale.

The Titanic’s fateful maiden voyage was a seminal event in 20th-century history. This is predominantly in thanks to the prevailing presumption of invincibility that existed amongst the ocean liner’s owners, builders and operators. Because of its ‘unsinkability’, there was a shortage of lifeboats on board, and the ship’s captain and drivers maintained high speeds in attempt to make a record crossing the Atlantic, disregarding iceberg warnings. These reasons contributed to sealing the Titanic’s fate, which claimed the lives of more than 1,500 of its 2,206 passengers and crew on board.

Ever since the announcement of its sinking on 15 April 1912, news and items pertaining to the RMS Titanic has continued to fascinate audiences. For more than a hundred years, historians and collectors have played close scrutiny to Titanic caches.

Broadside poster advertising Third Class tariffs on the ship’s return voyage from New York to Europe. Photo: Henry Aldridge & Son Broadside poster advertising Third Class tariffs on the ship’s return voyage from New York to Europe. Photo: Henry Aldridge & Son

Within this treasure trove of items from Henry Aldridge & Son is this extremely rare poster depicting Third Class tariffs on the ship’s return voyage from New York to Europe. It pictures an interior view of a Third Class cabin and the Third Class dining facility, and a photograph of the exterior of the ship – though actually pictured is the Olympic, the Titanic’s sister ship which was near identical and often used in promotional material.

Only a handful of these posters exist, as after the Titanic sank on 15 April 1912, White Star Line destroyed as many as they could. These posters either live in museums or private collections – one of which was on display recently in Speed and Style at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Rare plan of Titanic’s first class accommodation, dated 10 April 1912. Photo: Henry Aldridge & Son Rare plan of Titanic’s first class accommodation, dated 10 April 1912. Photo: Henry Aldridge & Son

Also included is an exceptionally rare plan (measuring 41 x 29 inches) of Titanic’s first class accommodation used onboard the ship and owned by First Class passenger Helen Wilson.

Wilson travelled with her employers Mr and Mrs Frederic Spedden, their young son Douglas, and his nursemaid Elizabeth Burns.

The plan was used by Wilson on board the Titanic, serving as her ‘roadmap’. Wilson and the plan escaped the Titanic on Lifeboat 3, alongsider her employers, their son Douglas, and Burns.

Pair of brass lifeboat plaques from the Titanic. Photo: Henry Aldridge & Son Pair of brass lifeboat plaques from the Titanic. Photo: Henry Aldridge & Son

Another fascinating item is a pair of brass lifeboat plaques from the ship. The first shows the White Star Line flag, with original paint and patina. The second, in a stretched oval form, sports the letters ‘S.S.Titanic’.

This pair of plaques was purchased from Christie’s, New York in 1999 from their specialist maritime sale.

First class menu from the Titanic, dated 10 April 1912. Photo: Henry Aldridge & Son First class menu from the Titanic, dated 10 April 1912. Photo: Henry Aldridge & Son

This menu belonged to First Class Steward Charles Casswell who died on board the ship. Casswell posted the menu from his first dinner on the Titanic to his wife, Hilda, from Queenstown.

The menu bears an embossed red White Star Line flag above gilt lettering OSNC, alongside the lettering RMS Titanic.

The menu demonstrates the lavish and opulent culinary delights for First Class passengers – with over 20 options for dinner. The menu has been folded and split horizontally, from when it was posted.

There are many other Titanic treasures to be discovered – at auction on 20 October.

Discover all lots from Henry Aldridge & Son right here

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