An original plan used during the British Titanic Enquiry is up for sale at Henry Aldridge Auctions with a £200,000 to £300,000 estimate.
The plan is described by the auctioneer as 'one of the most important and well documented pieces of Titanic memorabilia in existence today".
Headed "S.S. TITANIC. PROFILE" the 1inch = 1 foot scale plan was used throughout the enquiry into the sinking of the Titanic.
Green chalk marks show where the enquiry believed the ice penetrated the Titanic's hull hitting five water-tight bulkheads.
The plan was shown to members of the enquiry commission to help them understand the complexities of the ship's build.
During testimony at the enquiry many of the witnesses were encouraged to utiliize the plan to visually explain to the public where certain locations were, for example stairs, turbine engines, bulkheads, and watertight doors.
During the enquiry, Thomas Ranger, a surviving crew member from the Titanic who was a "greaser" (someone who lubricates the engines), used the plan to testify:
"It is the same one we were looking at just now, 3; I pointed out to you, first of all, there was a reciprocating engine room, and then we went along the boiler rooms. Now, if you go aft, the next to the reciprocating engine is the turbine-engine room, and just aft of that you will find an electric engine… Your Lordship will see on the big plan it is very well marked. There is the turbine engine which my friend, Mr. Rowlatt, is pointing out. Just abaft of that you see "electric machinery" in the centre. That you see from the tank top plan here and fresh water tanks at the sides. That is really only giving you there what you have on the tank top plan…"
Many of the witnesses who testified at the enquiry were Titanic crew members, plus White Line officials, and maritime experts inclouding Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of the wireless radio.
The plan is huge, measuring 32 foot by 4 foot 8 inches, and is hand coloured in Indian Ink.
If you're interested, the plan can be seen in situ at the enquiry on pages 268 & 269 of the 1995 'Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy' book by Eaton and Haas.
The plan was most recently sold in May 2011 when it fetched £220,000, a world record price for Titanic memorabilia.
It has since been on display at the Titanic exhibition in Belfast since 2012 where it has been viewed by several million museum visitors, and has undergone an extensive stabilisation work by leading conservator Sean Madden.
Without doubt one of the finest pieces of Titanic Memorabilia.
Don't miss out. You can follow the auction at Henry Aldridge Auctions on 22nd April.
About your Author:
Adrian Roose has over 30 years’ experience covering all aspects of the rare stamp & memorabilia industry during which he has sold over £50m of unique items, helping build collections for Royalty, household name celebrities and 1,000s of collectors around the world.
Adrian was previously a Director at Stanley Gibbons, a Board Member of Stampex, and Executive Director of Paul Fraser Collectibles, PFC Auctions and JustCollecting, prior to founding The Memorabilia Club.