1912 Titanic Luncheon Menu
How long have you owned this really bad oil painting of the Titanic? (laughs)
I've owned this since 1971.
And you found it where?
Well, I was living in London at the time. I drove down to the little village of Romsey, near Southampton, England, and while I was down there I went into this little antique shop. And sitting on the floor against the wall, under a table was this oil painting.
And... as I said, it's really bad. It's not bad enough to be interesting. What is interesting is what was put on the reverse of this. And what's on the reverse is an original menu from the Titanic. It's the luncheon menu from the day that the Titanic struck the iceberg: April 14, 1912. Very, very few items survived from the Titanic. This is the only known intact menu that I've ever heard of surviving. These were printed daily on the ship, the menus. They had their own little printing plant on the ocean liner, and they would print these up on a daily basis. But they used fairly good paper, obviously, because it's... it's survived all these years.
The owner of the antique shop said he bought it from the son of one of the survivors of the disaster-- a member of the crew from Southampton.
But he didn't give you a name.
Oh, unfortunately, because... It's amazing how there's been research done on every, single survivor. Of course, we've had a tremendous revival of interest in the Titanic since the film. And the prices of the items have escalated rapidly. But I could tell you that even before the film, finding an intact menu would have been quite an event. Nothing like this has ever come up for sale. I would have to venture that if this piece were to come onto the market it would sell in the range of $75,000 to $100,000.
Wow! Gee! Well, that's amazing!
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