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Rare items from Titanic fetch six-figure sum at auction

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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

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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 one of the only Titanic plans of first class accommodation to have travelled onboard the ship and survived

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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 French-born maid Elise Lurette, who survived the sinking of the Titanic as the Lurette Collection which belonged to the French-born maid

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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 onboard postcard written by passenger Elise Lurette to her nephew

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Undated Henry Aldridge & Son handout photo of an extremely rare first class menu dated April 12 1912 for luncheon onboard the Titanic

Undated Henry Aldridge & Son handout photo of an extremely rare first class menu dated April 12 1912 for luncheon onboard the Titanic

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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 Henry Aldridge & Son of Sidney Sedunary, whose small key for a locker on the Titanic

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Undated handout photo issued by National Museums Northern Ireland of a picture of the Titanic during her launch at the Belfast shipyard

Undated handout photo issued by National Museums Northern Ireland of a picture of the Titanic during her launch at the Belfast shipyard

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Postcard written by passenger Elise Lurette to her nephew

Postcard written by passenger Elise Lurette to her nephew

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Undated handout photo issued by Henry Aldridge & Son of a small key for a locker on the Titanic

Rare items from the Titanic have sold for a substantial six-figure sum at auction.

More than 250 artefacts relating to the doomed 1912 vessel went under the hammer at memorabilia specialists Henry Aldridge & Son in Wiltshire today.

Among the most sought-after pieces was a menu from the ship's first-class restaurant - which went for £60,000 - and a small locker key, where the bidding topped £62,000.

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said there was fierce competition among bidders from across the world.

He said: "Some of the items we had on sale today were extremely rare, which prompted a lot of interest from people here in the UK as well as from Monaco, South America and the USA.

"There was competition for the rarest pieces as people want to own the best items.

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Undated handout photo issued by National Museums Northern Ireland of a picture of the Titanic during her launch at the Belfast shipyard

Undated handout photo issued by National Museums Northern Ireland of a picture of the Titanic during her launch at the Belfast shipyard

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Undated handout photo issued by National Museums Northern Ireland of a picture of the Titanic during her launch at the Belfast shipyard

"We never reveal the total amount the whole auction made, but it was a substantial six-figure sum, put it that way."

One of the stand-out lots was the Lurette Collection - a series of items once owned by maid Elise Lurette - which sold for a total of £100,000.

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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

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Undated handout photo issued by Henry Aldridge & Son of a small key for a locker on the Titanic

French-born Ms Lurette was one of about 700 people who survived after the passenger liner hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage.

In her coat pocket was a menu, dated April 12, which offered guests foods such as mutton chops, Melton Mowbray pie and tapioca pudding. It was sold to a collector for £60,000.

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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 onboard postcard written by passenger Elise Lurette to her nephew

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Undated Henry Aldridge & Son handout photo of an onboard postcard written by passenger Elise Lurette to her nephew

Another item which also sparked a bidding war was a deck plan used by Ms Lurette to help find her way to a lifeboat on the ill-fated ship. It was sold for £33,000 - almost double its guide price.

Mr Aldridge said: "To have a menu, especially one that survived the sinking in Ms Lurette's coat pocket, alongside a first-class deck plan, which was used on the Titanic and has remained in the family for over a century, is unheard of."

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Postcard written by passenger Elise Lurette to her nephew

Postcard written by passenger Elise Lurette to her nephew

PA

Postcard written by passenger Elise Lurette to her nephew

Meanwhile, a letter by engineer Joseph Bell describing how the Titanic almost hit two other liners as it left Southampton docks sold for £24,000 and a tiny locker key owned by Southampton man Sidney Sedunary fetched a staggering £62,000 - double its estimate.

Mr Sedunary's body was later recovered and his possessions, including his pocket watch and keys to his cabin - number 45 on E deck - were sent to his pregnant wife Madge.

"The items have some amazing stories behind them," added Mr Aldridge. "When you see the items it brings passengers' stories to life."

Next month sees more historic items go on sale at the auction house during its specialist manuscript sale.

Among the stand-out pieces is a soldier's letter from the famous Rorke's Drift battle in South Africa.

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