Monday 5 December 2016

Titanic launch VIP ticket stub sells for over €19,000 at auction

Rod Minchin

Published 23/04/2016 | 19:21

Harland & Wolff employed almost 9,500 people between 1907 and 1912, when the Titanic was completed. Photo: Getty Images
Harland & Wolff employed almost 9,500 people between 1907 and 1912, when the Titanic was completed. Photo: Getty Images

A ticket stub from the VIP enclosure of the launch of the Titanic has sold for £15,000 (€19,000) at auction.

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It belonged to Harland & Wolff secretary Charlotte Irwin and was bought by a private collector from Britain at the sale at Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes, Wiltshire.

Miss Irwin was just 20 and worked in the drafting office at the Belfast firm's shipyard when Titanic was being built.

And when the ocean liner was launched on May 31 1911, Miss Irwin was in an executive box set aside for specially invited White Star Line and Harland & Wolff staff - giving her a great view of the Titanic sliding down the ways into the water.

Miss Irwin kept the ticket, No 116, as a souvenir of a memorable day.

It read "TITANIC Launch," below which it states: "To be retained for admission to Stand."

The stub is flanked with fleur-de-lys. The reverse of the stub contains shorthand manuscript notes with details of the disaster.

The Pitman script reads: "Launched 31st May 1911. Left Belfast 2nd April 1912. Sailed on her maiden voyage 10th April 1912. Struck an iceberg at 11.45 on 14th April 1912 Sank with the loss of over 1,000 lives at 2.20am 15th April 1912."

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge described the item, which beat its £6,000-£10,000 estimate, as "an exceptional piece".

He said: "It is very unusual with launch tickets to be able to put a face to a ticket."

Undated handout photo issued by Henry Aldridge & Son of a small key for a locker on the Titanic
Undated handout photo issued by Henry Aldridge & Son of a small key for a locker on the Titanic
Undated Henry Aldridge & Son handout photo of one of the only Titanic plans of first class accommodation to have travelled onboard the ship and survived
Undated Henry Aldridge & Son handout photo of French-born maid Elise Lurette, who survived the sinking of the Titanic as the Lurette Collection which belonged to the French-born maid
Undated Henry Aldridge & Son handout photo of an onboard postcard written by passenger Elise Lurette to her nephew
Undated Henry Aldridge & Son handout photo of an extremely rare first class menu dated April 12 1912 for luncheon onboard the Titanic
Undated handout photo issued by Henry Aldridge & Son of Sidney Sedunary, whose small key for a locker on the Titanic
Undated handout photo issued by National Museums Northern Ireland of a picture of the Titanic during her launch at the Belfast shipyard
Postcard written by passenger Elise Lurette to her nephew

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