Lot 227: R.M.S. TITANIC SECOND OFFICER CHARLES LIGHTOLLER

Henry Aldridge & Son

April 21, 2018
Devizes, United Kingdom

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Description: One of the rarest Titanic menus in existence, the first meal ever served on Titanic during her sea trials dated April 2nd 1912. The postcard size menu is on cream card and embossed with gilt Oceanic Steam Navigation Company logo and beneath a red White Star Line burgee in relief. The full menu includes a variety of foods - Consommé Mirrette, Cream of Chicken, Salmon, Golden Plover on Toast, Peaches Imperial and Pudding Sans Souci. The menu was owned by Second Officer Charles Lightoller, the highest ranking surviving officer from the Titanic. He gave the menu to his wife as a souvenir as he departed from Southampton on April 10th 1912. R.M.S Titanic was due to leave Belfast for Southampton on Monday 1st April, however due to poor weather this was postponed until the following day. Tuesday 2nd April was the first day of Titanic's sea trials, which began at 10am. She sailed all day and then returned to port for some last-minute cargo. During this day the crew and the officers enjoyed their first meal on board the ship before she was joined by the passengers. John Eaton and Charles Haas, leading Titanic scholars and historians, note in their book Titanic Triumph and Tragedy "Lunch was now ready but there was one more test to be conducted. While the ship travelled at 20½ knots on a straight course the helm was ordered hard over. Heeling slightly Titanic turned a full circle whose diameter was measured at 3850 feet or a bit less than 4½ lengths of the ship, during the ships turn, the ships turn was around 2100 feet. While lunch was being served in the main dining saloon the vessel was put at dead slow, and such observers, representatives and officers as could be spared sat down for their meal, still conversing, comparing, exchanging data, following lunch the major stopping test was conducted." It is believed only one other example of an April 2nd survives. It belonged to Titanic's Fifth Officer Harold Lowe. He wrote a notation on the bottom "This is first meal ever served on board". Henry Aldridge and Son sold this menu 14 years ago, however the bottom of the Lowe menu was removed so this is believed to be the only complete example. This menu is one of the most important examples of its type in existence today, simply superb a true blue chip item.
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