Titanic Artefacts Up for Auction

Handwritten minute book predating the ship's fatal voyage amongst the historic items going under the hammer next week

Rare Harland & Wolff records referencing RMS Titanic will go under the hammer at Bloomfield Auctions later this month in an eclectic sale which spans militaria and exceptional items which capture special moments in local history.

The old shipyard ‘Minute Book B', dated 1905-1918, and with an estimated value at auction of £400-£600, chronicles the day-to-day business of shipbuilding in Belfast. Within its pages, the Balance Sheet prepared for the 1910/11 Annual Report proudly shows the celebrated 45,000 tonnes RMS Titanic as a work in progress. Those who so carefully recorded those details in their elegant Edwardian copperplate writing had no idea of the sad fate that awaited the ship once hailed as the largest and most opulent in the world. 

An original Ulster Covenant bearing the signatures of Edward Carson, James Craig, Admiral Charles Beresford and Lord Londonderry and others will also come under the hammer, with bids of £200-£400 expected.

Lot 74

Looking forward to the sale on Tuesday June 20, auctioneer Karl Bennett said: 'There is always a huge interest in any Titanic-related artefacts and memorabilia so we are thrilled to be showcasing this unique handwritten and craftsman-bound document. The fact that each entry is handwritten helps to transport today’s reader back into a different age … and I think that same magic is at play when you can pick up and examine a copy of the Ulster Covenant which carries the actual signatures of some of the best known political figures of their day.

'Whether you are in a position to invest in something of museum-stature significance or you are simply buying an item which brings back memories of your childhood, the fascination of collecting lies in making connections with the past. People are fascinated with items that give them an insight into history and we’re currently seeing a massive growth of collecting not only antiques, but also vintage items and memorabilia.

Lot 88.

He added: 'Auction lots with particularly strong provenance offer the most direct links to history so they tend to be regarded as investment pieces. We’re looking forward to high interest, and some high prices too, when we offer a saleroom packed with fascinating items this month.'

Amongst the lots likely to attract most interest are a Nymphenburg, Deutsche Reichsbahn porcelain teapot originally used in Hermann Goering’s dining wagon of the Sonderzug (special train). The piece comes from a private collection mentioned in the James A. Yannes book The Special Trains Of Hitler, Goering Et Al and has an estimated value at auction of  £2500 - £3500.

Other pieces already gaining the attention of collectors include a George III brass barrelled flintlock rifle with silver inlay, made by Egan, and engraved, 'Bequeathed To Patrick Egan at the behest of his father 1778' (estimate: £2500 - £3500) and a George V Irish silver anti Home Rule Association (Ulster Volunteer Force) salver dated and hallmarked Dublin 1913 by Sharman D. Neill (estimate: £800 - £1200).

Lot 52

The Militaria & Memories Auction will be held at Bloomfield Auctions at the historic Owen O’Cork Mill complex on Belfast’s Beersbridge Road on Tuesday 20 June, with bidding starting at 6:30pm.

Viewing will be on Saturday June 17, from 10:30am – 2:00pm, June 19 from 10:00am – 7:00pm and June 20 from 10:00am – 6:00pm. Follow Bloomfield Auctions on Facebook or visit www.bloomfieldauctions.co.uk.