Titanic plan used during the British Titanic inquiry, £195,000 at Henry Aldridge & Son.

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Following the sinking in April 1912, the British Wreck Commissioner (on behalf of the British Board of Trade) held an inquiry, overseen by High Court judge Lord Mersey, which ran from May 2 to July 3, 1912.

This longitudinal sectioned plan of the liner was prepared by the Naval Architects Department of White Star Line in Indian ink and hand-coloured. Drawn on paper and mounted to linen, the plan measures a hefty 32ft 6in x 4ft 8in (8.9 x 1.42m).

It was positioned in the hearing room during the course of the proceedings and was visible to the participants.

Markings indicated where ice was believed to have penetrated five water-tight bulkheads, causing the ship to sink.

Aldridge’s said the plan “eclipsed anything we have seen on the market for Titanic in terms of size” and it is a “magnificent and commanding piece, both historically and visually”.

The plan was previously on exhibition in the Titanic museum in Belfast and has recently been restored and stabilised by conservator Sean Madden.

Estimated at £200,000-300,000 on April 22, it was hammered down at £195,000 to a UK buyer.

Specialist sales

Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes, Wiltshire, is well known for its Titanic memorabilia auctions and the hammer total for this sale reached £550,000.

Other highlights, which went to US bidders, included a Titanic 1st class plan of accommodation that was hammered down at £43,000.

A relief sculpture created by Maurice Lambert for RMS Queen Mary (as previewed in ATG No 2586) made £46,000, against an estimate of £25,000-35,000.