The Most Expensive Titanic Memorabilia Went Under the Hammer

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Titanic is probably, next to Noah’s ark, history’s most famous ship and a lot of collectors are still driven by the search for increasingly rare items carried off after the ocean liner’s sinking. Photo Henry Aldridge and Son Ltd.

Posted on May 7, 2024

112 years after the great tragedy, the public interest in Titanic is still ongoing. People are actively participating in auctions selling valuable memorabilia that was aboard Titanic during its maiden voyage.

On April 15, 2024, one enthusiast set a new world record for the most expensive item bought from a Titanic-themed auction. If you think he bought a Heart of the Ocean necklace, you’re wrong because that jewelry piece is entirely fictional and belongs to the eponymous movie. The auctioned item was actually a gold pocket watch that came from the richest man on Titanic, J. J. Astor IV.

Unfortunately, the man didn’t survive the ship’s sinking, unlike his wife Madeleine who was pregnant at the time and gave birth in a few months. After the watch was retrieved from Astor’s dead body, it was handed to his son Vincent along with other valuable possessions such as a diamond ring and a pair of cufflinks. Over two decades later, Vincent gifted the watch to the family of his father’s secretary who passed it down for generations before eventually selling it at the auction in the 1990s. The watch has come a long way from one museum display to the next before earning the title of the priciest Titanic memorabilia sold at an auction at a whopping $1.485 million.

The present owner chose to remain anonymous but the director of the auction house Henry Aldridge and Son was able to give an interview to CNN. Along with the long-coveted watch, the auction had several other valuable Titanic items on offer such as a violin case, a violin, and a notebook with the ship’s schedule. The musical instrument belonged to Wallace Hartley, a band leader who played a touching violin piece as the ship was sinking. Aldridge was quite impressed with the public’s enthusiasm about long-lost Titanic treasures and expressed his appreciation for how such items allow us to literally touch history itself.


Olertis expresses a similar sentiment and reminds you that you can create historically themed custom jewelry from any epoch or era. It might be a true-to-life replica of any famous jewelry piece – from Cleopatra’s earrings to Marie Antoinette’s pinky ring. Anything is possible with Olertis Jewelry!

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