The only surviving, authenticated first class steamer chair to be recovered from the wreckage of RMS Titanic was sold at auction on Saturday for some £85,000.
The chair was auctioned off by the same man- Andrew Aldridge of Devizes, Wiltshire- who recently oversaw the sale of Wallace Hartley’s violin for almost a million pounds.
The new owner is described as a ‘UK based collector of iconic pieces of history’. In other words, the buyer’s actual nationality remains undisclosed.
The chair is understood to be one of seven originally fished out of the Atlantic by crewmen aboard the Mackay-Bennett, the first of three vessels sent out from Nova Scotia to recover the bodies of the 1500 victims of the sinking in April, 1912. Once she returned to port, it came into the possession of the ship’s French captain, Julien Lemarteleur.
The most recent owner of the deckchair is understood to be an English Titanic enthusiast, who had kept the steamer chair for around a decade and a half.
While £85,000 is an astronomical sum, it just goes to show how buoyant the level of interest in anything even remotely connected to the Titanic remains worldwide. There is no doubt that the lost liner remains a powerful, totemic talisman of recent history. In fact, no artefacts from any other ship command anything like prices for Titanic memorabilia.