By Jessica Dickler - WPBF
The most famous shipwreck of all time is on the auction block, including passengers' personal belongings and even salvage rights to the wreck site at the bottom of the North Atlantic Sea.
The collection includes video footage of the ship and recovery effort, as well as more than 5,500 artifacts recovered from the wreck. The artifacts consist of fine china, silverware, clothing, diamond jewelry and other personal items, decorative items from the boat, and even pieces of the ship itself.
The auction, near the shipwreck's centennial, marks the first time artifacts collected from the Titanic during salvage expeditions will be available for sale, although items gathered from the ocean surface or from survivors have been sold in the past -- for a pricey sum.
In 2004, Guernsey's auctioned off memorabilia from the Titanic and a few artifacts that had been passed down through the families of survivors from the ship. An original menu sold for about $100,000, according to Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey's auction house in New York.
All the artifacts and intellectual property in this auction will be sold as a single lot by Guernsey's.
In a previous appraisal, the collection was valued at $189 million altogether. There will be a reserve, although it has not been disclosed, Ettinger said.