One was of considerably more interest that the others: it was held by White Star Line menu for a luncheon on the day of the launch of the Titanic.
The menus, most of them in excellent condition, came for sale from the family of Herbert James Rowse (1887-1963). He was the architect responsible for many of Liverpool’s Art Deco era buildings – shaping the city with designs for the Philharmonic Hall, the India buildings, the air vents to the Mersey tunnel and Martins Bank, used to secretly store Britain’s gold reserves during the Second World War.
The launch of the Titanic was conducted at the docks in Belfast on May 31, 1911, followed at noon with a celebration lunch at the Grand Central Hotel. After watching the luxury liner slip into the water for the very first time, the 69 guests were served Filet de Boeuf, Chapon de Surrey and Jambon de York washed down with Ruinart, 1904, and Chateau Gruaud Larose, 1888.
A similar menu had sold for £36,000 at White Star memorabilia specialist Henry Aldridge and Son of Devizes as part of a Titanic centenary sale in 2012. This latest example came for sale on August 10 with an estimate of £5000-7000 and pushed on to bring £17,200 (plus 20% buyer’s premium).
A menu for the first meal served on board the Titanic on April 2, 1912, sold for a record £80,000 at Henry Aldridge in 2018. It was owned by Titanic second officer Charles Lightoller.