The Titanic set sail in April 1912 from Southampton, UK, to New York, USA. After 5 days of sailing, the ship collided with an iceberg, sinking in a few hours. It was the largest tragedy of that time, claiming about 1,500 lives. Wealthy people carried a lot of valuable things with them on the ship. It is known that it was possible to raise about 5,500 different items. These were the personal belongings of the passengers and fragments of the ship. But the most valuable items from the Titanic disappeared without a trace. The Egyptian mummy, which is considered the culprit of the catastrophe of the century, has also disappeared.
According to official figures, a little more than 5,500 things were lifted from the Titanic. This included not only the personal belongings of passengers (precious jewelry, art, porcelain, gold, money, etc.), but also the remains of parts of the ship. 110 years after the catastrophe of the century, each item is of great value. Now, this collection of objects salvaged from the wreck of the Titanic is in the possession of one company. We are talking about RMS Titanic Inc., which since 1993 has had the exclusive ability to lift all things from the legendary liner.
Previously, the company organized exhibitions of everything found on the Titanic around the world, but no one refused to make money on it. At first, items from the Titanic were sold successfully at auctions as separate lots. Two bronze plaques with the words “Liverpool” and “SS Titanic” were put up in 2016 at a New York auction. They were sold for 72 and 60 thousand dollars. And the personal watch of the 1st class steward Edmund Stone, which had not worked for a long time, was bought for 155 thousand dollars. On their dial, the time is recorded when their owner went under water along with the ship. Over time, a proposal was put forward to sell the entire collection at auction, and not by individual lots. Its preliminary cost was estimated at $190 million. If this happens, it will be a real historical event.
“Rubaiyat” by Omar Khayyam
It is a manuscript by the 11th-century Persian philosopher Omar Khayyam. It was one of the most valuable items that were transported on the Titanic in 1912. The fact is that the manuscript was handmade in 1911, decorating the enamel binding with a large number of precious stones. Sotheran & Company bookseller John Harrison commissioned Sangorski & Sutcliffe to make a one-of-a-kind cover. The customer wanted something unique created for him. And it didn’t matter how much it would cost.
The order was executed by a bookbinder from London, Francis Sangorski. Because the work was painstaking, it took about two years to complete. It was a true work of art and luxury. The binding included several valuable leathers, and the elements were made of mahogany, silver, and ivory. But the main decoration of the cover was just over 1,000 precious (and semi-precious) stones framed in gold. The front cover depicted a peacock of fantastic beauty, and on the back, a musical instrument resembling a lute.
Omar Khayyam’s “Rubaiyat” was sent to America, but it was not bought because of the too high price. Then the publication returned, hitting the famous Sotheby’s auction. As a result of the auction, the book was bought by one of the American collectors for $1,900. In those days, it was a lot of money. Omar Khayyam’s “Rubaiyat” was placed in an oak box and shipped on the ship “Titanic” to a new owner in New York. But the book sank along with the liner. This item, despite its value, has not yet been found.
The Mysterious Mummy
It is believed that among a large number of other valuables, an Egyptian mummy was transported on the Titanic. Her remains were carefully packed and placed in a wooden box, which was located under the captain’s bridge. It was a secret cargo, and only a few knew about its existence. It was rumored that the exotic mummy belonged to a soothsayer who served under Pharaoh Amenhotep IV. On the mummy was an ancient amulet, which depicted Osiris himself. But he was the king of the underworld.
The amulet also flaunted a mysterious inscription, which over time, the experts managed to read. It was more like some kind of spell through which the amulet gives life to its owner. “Rise from oblivion. Your gaze will conquer all who stand in your way.” In this regard, another hypothesis arose about the death of the Titanic. It was said that this curse of the mummy provoked the catastrophe of the century. However, some experts are skeptical about this version. After all, no box with a mummy has yet been found and raised from the side of the sunken ship.
Wallace Hartley’s Violin
The legendary violin of the musician Wallace Hartley was not only found, but also sold in 2013 at one of the London auctions for an impressive amount of 1.7 million dollars. The history of this artifact is truly unique. It was owned by musician Wallace Hartley, who played with colleagues on a passenger ship. And in that fateful period, when the Titanic began to sink, none of the orchestra tried to save themselves. Apparently, they decided to meet their death with dignity and for the benefit of others.
The musicians played their compositions for people who, in a panic, tried to find a way out of the sinking ship. When the water came close to Hartley, he carefully placed the violin in a leather case and tied it to himself. He probably thought that the tool could serve him as a raft to stay on the water. But the hopes were in vain. After Hartley’s death, the violin was given to his fiancee Maria Robinson. This valuable musical instrument was accidentally discovered in 2006 in the attic of the relatives of the ex-fiancee of the violinist.
The mysterious cargo on the Titanic and why the ship was never raised to the surface?
It is known that more than 2 thousand people went on the Titanic to New York, only 900 of whom were crew members. The ship carried not only people of different incomes (this was indicated by cabins of 1, 2 and 3 classes), but also a huge amount of various cargo. There were many wealthy people on the ship who brought gold, art, cars, jewelry, including diamonds, to America. According to preliminary estimates, only jewelry was valued at 0.5-1 billion dollars. And that’s just the personal belongings of the rich. According to on-board documents, the ship contained a private collection of rare diamonds. It was estimated at 300 million dollars.
In addition, on the Titanic on that ill-fated voyage, they carried several tons of goods for sale in the amount of about 10 million dollars. These were not only furs and elite spirits, but also food, medical instruments, books and much more. In addition, about 60 thousand postal items were delivered by ship. There is also evidence that a mummy in a wooden box was also transported on the ship. More than 100 years have passed since the disaster. During this time, it was possible to find and raise a large number of personal belongings of passengers, as well as fragments of the Titanic itself. It is now known that there were more than 5.5 thousand such items. But this is only according to official data. In fact, no one knows how many valuable things the “black archaeologists” managed to get.
After 110 years from the date of the tragedy, the ship could not be fully raised to the surface. In 1912, relatives of the deceased wealthy passengers wanted to do this. But, given that the ship went to a depth of 3800 meters, it was technically impossible. Yes, and the exact location of the Titanic was not known. They wanted to raise the ship more than once, coming up with various methods. However, only the hull plate was raised to the surface. Experts say that it is unlikely that the Titanic will be completely raised due to its severe damage during a collision with an iceberg. In addition, the vessel and its fragments are destroyed not only due to exposure to water but also to bacteria that feed on metal. Therefore, the ship can crumble with any attempt to move it.