Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Titanic memorabilia from New York couple up for auction

A Titanic first class deck plan belonging to a wealthy New York couple who were drowned at sea could fetch £50,000 at auction.

The deck plans were handed to passengers as they boarded the RMS Titanic at Southampton in 1912 to help them navigate around the luxury liner.

Ida and Isidor Straus never reached their destination, and drowned at sea along with 1,495 others.

Their maid, Ellen Bird, survived, and kept the couple's deck plan.

It has been in the hands of a private collector since her death in 1949.

Auctioneer Henry Aldridge, who is selling the plan, said the human stories associated with the Titanic disaster made its memorabilia so sought after by collectors.

'Cream of society'

"Isidor Straus was the owner of Macy's, he was a prominent New York businessman," he said.

"We will never know why he did not board a lifeboat and drowned on the ship with his wife.

Image caption Isidor Straus was the owner of Macy's in New York

"You could ask why John Jacob Astor, one of the richest men in the world, did not manage to get in a lifeboat, while his young pregnant wife did.

"The cream of New York society was on that ship."

Mr Aldridge said the symbol of American store Macy's, a star, was believed to be a reference to the Titanic in memory of Mr Straus.

The RMS Titanic was part of the White Star Line.

The deck plan will be auctioned as part of a selection of Titanic and White Star Line memorabilia on 29 October at Devizes auction house in Wiltshire.

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