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Sunday, October 12, 2014

TITANIC deck plan and menu for sale

A deck plan and the only surviving menu from the Titanic's first-class
restaurant are expected to be sold for up to £100,000 at auction next week.

The deck plan was used by Elise Lurette to find her way to the lifeboats
after the passenger liner hit an iceberg in April 1912.
More than 1,500 passengers and crew drowned but Ms Lurette, a 59-year-old
French-born maid, survived.
The plan was given only to first-class passengers. Ms Lurette, who worked
for the wealthy Spencer family, wrote on it "Depart le 10 Avril" and marked
the paper plan with a cross to indicate the location of her cabin.
Also in Ms Lurette's coat pocket when she was rescued was a lunch menu,
dated April 12.
The choice in the first-class restaurant included mutton chops, roast beef,
Melton Mowbray pie, lamb and mint sauce, ox tongue, tapioca pudding and
greengage tart.
After managing to find a lifeboat, Ms Lurette sat alongside her employer,
Marie Spencer, in lifeboat number six.
She kept the documents and left them to her family before her death the
following year.
The documents, which have remained in the Lurette family, will be sold by
Titanic memorabilia specialists Henry Aldridge & Son, in Devizes, Wiltshire
on October 18.
The deck plan is expected to sell for £16,000 and the menu, which is
believed to be the first from lunch on April 12 to go under the hammer, is
tipped to sell for £70,000.
A third document that makes up the archive is a fine postcard the maid sent
to her nephew from the Titanic when it stopped off at Queenstown in Ireland,
which is expected to fetch £6,000.
Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said: "The archive is an exceptional one.
"To have a menu, especially one from lunch on April 12 that survived the
sinking in Ms Lurette's coat pocket, alongside a first-class deck plan, was
used on the Titanic and has remained in the family for over a century is
unheard of.
"Elise was rescued in lifeboat number six and was severely traumatized by
her experiences, recalling the screams of those in the water and their
attempts to climb into the lifeboat."
Also being sold next week is a letter written by the Titanic's chief
engineer, Joseph Bell, to his son, which describes a near-miss the ship had
as it left Southampton on its ill-fated maiden voyage.
Mr Bell's letter is estimated to fetch between £10,000 and £15,000.

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