England

Titanic lifeboat biscuit sells for £15,000 at auction

  • 24 October 2015
  • From the section England
Titanic biscuit and iceberg picture Image copyright Henry Aldridge & Son
Image caption The Titanic biscuit and iceberg picture were part of an auction of Titanic memorabilia

A biscuit which had been aboard a lifeboat on the Titanic has sold at auction for £15,000.

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said the Spillers and Bakers Pilot cracker, from a survival kit in a lifeboat, was "the world's most valuable biscuit".

It was bought by a collector in Greece.

A photograph purporting to show the iceberg that sank the ill-fated liner sold at the same auction for £21,000. The picture was taken by a steward on another ship which passed the iceberg.

Mr Aldridge said they were among the most "collectible and iconic" Titanic items to be sold.

The auction, at Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes, Wiltshire, also saw a "loving cup" presented to the captain of the Carpathia, which came to the Titanic's aid, also sell for £129,000 to a UK collector.

It was given to Captain Arthur Rostron by survivor Molly Brown, paid for by donations from wealthy passengers after the disaster.

Mr Aldridge said the price paid for the cup made it the third most valuable item associated with the Titanic story to have ever been sold.

He said: "The interest in the items reflected the worldwide nature of Titanic memorabilia. They captured collectors' imagination".

The biscuit was saved by James Fenwick, a passenger on the Carpathia which picked up Titanic survivors.

He kept it in an envelope complete with original notation, "Pilot biscuit from Titanic lifeboat April 1912".

RMS Titanic had been four days into a week-long Transatlantic crossing from Southampton to New York when the supposedly "unsinkable" ship struck the iceberg on 14 April 1912.

The ship sank less than three hours later at around 02:20 on 15 April.

The photograph was captured the day after the luxury liner sank in the Atlantic, killing more than 1,500 people.

Image copyright Central Press/ Getty Images
Image caption The Titanic was the largest liner of its time was claimed to be "unsinkable"

It was taken by the chief steward of steamer the Prinz Adalbert, who was at the time unaware of the tragedy that had occurred the previous day.

It comes with a previously unpublished statement from the photographer, who describes seeing scrapings of red paint on the side.

The estimated guide price had been between £10,000 and £15,000.

Mr Aldridge described it as an "incredibly fascinating relic of the disaster."

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