We’re coming up on the centennial of the sinking of the Titanic, and at an auction house in London that specializes in Titanic memorabilia, a first-class lunch menu dated April 14, 1912, is expected to command as much as £100,000 when it goes up for auction at the end of March. The menu was slipped into the purse of Mrs. Washington Dodge of San Francisco, the wife of a prominent banker who was traveling to New York with her husband and son. Both Mr. and Mrs. Dodge managed to survive, and the menu has been kept in the family ever since. It features things like chicken à la Maryland, “cockie leekie,” and eggs à l’Argenteuil — which are sort of like hard-cooked eggs with asparagus. See it up close, below.
Though other examples of this menu have surfaced in the past (like this one on Antiques Roadshow), it is rare enough to command top-dollar for such things. And it’s fascinating to see what luxury food was like in that era. Meanwhile, the sad people in third class were eating oats and corned beef.