A rare vacation brochure for the Titanic has resurfaced just weeks before the tragedy’s 110th anniversary. The century-old leaflet, which dubbed the infamous liner as ‘the embodiment of safety’, was published a year before the 52,000-tonne Belfast-built linker sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on its maiden voyage , resulting in the loss of 1,522 lives.
The 72-page, mostly illustrated pamphlet is set to sell for £6,000 at auction later this month and is being sold by a private collector who discovered it in Northern Ireland several years ago. It was printed by Liverpool Printing and Stationery Co Ltd and published in May 1911, likely to coincide with the launch of the Titanic by iconic Belfast shipbuilders Harland & Wolff – who also launched sister ship Olympic 18 months previously.
The immaculate bright red brochures claimed that the two ships were “the most important maritime development of the day” and “unequalled in the ocean”. They boasted that the ship had reached levels of “prestige and beauty” never seen before, adding that the Titanic and the Olympic were the perfect example of comfort, elegance and safety.
Read more: Titanic: Explorers set to shell out $250,000 to visit wreck site
They painted a picture of the ship’s prestigious decor, including the famous grand staircase. The guide also described how the lights from the beautiful chandelier above would “reflect the glittering jewelry of the women in shiny evening dresses.”
The brochure, produced by the White Star line, also details first-class accommodation on board with around 50 images of the luxurious facilities, including dining rooms and Turkish baths. It said, “It is safe to predict that the Olympic and Titanic will enhance the great reputation of the (White Star) Line.”
Only a handful of copies still exist today, although hundreds were printed and distributed by 1911 – making it extremely rare when one exists. Andrew Aldridge, of auctioneers Henry Aldridge and Son, said: “There are no more than a handful.
“It is more of a promotional brochure aimed at wealthy potential passengers. The Titanic was not due to leave for a year and so the owners had not formulated the prices at that time, which is why they are not not in there.
“The brochure explained how this ship was the biggest and best ship on the planet at the time. Other brochures of the time were 16 or 32 pages, but this was by far the largest with 72 pages. It was profusely illustrated.”
Nearly the length of three football pitches Titanic was, at the time, the largest moving object ever created and also one of the most lavishly named ships ever built before it sank on April 15, 1912. Titanic was the middle ship of the three new superliners – her older sister Olympic was a reliable member of the White Star fleet until she was scrapped in 1935 after hitting and sinking the famous ship -Nantucket lighthouse off the east coast of the United States.
Her younger sister, Britannic, suffered a similar fate to the Titanic in World War I when she struck a German mine off the coast of Greece and sank within an hour. The Titanic, White Star and Transport Memorabilia auction by Henry Aldridge & Son Ltd Auctioneers & Valuers will take place on April 23.
To get the latest news straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter here.