Salmon mayonnaise, eggs Argenteuil, grilled mutton chops, corned ox tongue and jacket potatoes. Those lunch items are not only a culinary snapshot of the upper class Edwardian diet, but they are also a tragic portrait of the last meal of the victims of the Titanic. Now an original copy of that lunch menu is heading to the auction block and is expected to bring in over $150,000.
The menu was saved from sinking by Ruth Dodge, a passenger traveling with her husband, Dr. Washington Dodge and their son. As many tourists seeking a souvenir of their travels, Mrs. Dodge tucked the menu into her handbag. According to an article in the Telegraph, Mrs. Dodge and her son survived the tragedy along with the menu, which had remained in her bag. Dr. Dodge himself was saved from the sinking vessel by steward Frederick Dent Ray, who pushed the doctor on to a lifeboat full of children, to help him care for the kids. The memento mori menu has stayed with the family ever since. Now the item is heading to the auction block.
The sale is being held by the auctioneers Henry Aldridge & Son to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on March 31. ”The sale will be 100 years to the day after Titanic was finished at Harland and Wolff,” spokesman Andrew Aldridge told the Telegraph. But collectors need to be pay a pretty penny for the item. The menu, which bears the all important date of April 14, carries a pre-sale estimate of £60,000 to £100,000 ($95,000 to $154,000).
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Several other events are planned around the 2012 anniversary, including a re-release of James Cameron’s 1997 masterpiece Titanic in 3D and a reasonable sounding trip on a Russian submarine that will take passengers down to the wreckage.