Updated 01/05/2012 05:00 PM
Titanic Artifacts Expected To Bring In Boat Load Of Cash
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Nearly 100 years after the disaster, thousands of items salvaged from the Titanic are headed to a New York auction block.
The entire collection, consisting of more than 5,500 artifacts salvaged from the ill-fated ocean liner that hit an iceberg and sank early on the morning of April 15, 1912, will be sold together.
The legendary ship's sinking killed more than 1,500 people, and the wreckage was not discovered until 1985, two-and-a-half miles below the Atlantic Ocean's surface.
The group RMS Titanic Incorporated, which salvaged the artifacts from the ship, says it is the right time to pass the items on.
"The collection of more than 5,500 artifacts recovered from the Titanic will be sold as a single collection, with respect to the preservation of history, so that future generations will always have the opportunity to be thrilled by, learn from, and perpetuate the memory of this great ship," said Arlan Ettinger of Guernsey's Auction House, which is handling the sale.
"We want to bring this to the right home, be it an institution or a philanthropist that can make the exhibition available to people in the future," said Premier Exhibitions Inc. spokesman Brian Wainger.
"Titanic has much to tell, and I think that the world is still listening," said Premier Exhibitions Inc. Vice President of Collections Alexandra Klingelhofer.
Several of the artifacts were displayed Thursday at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum on Manhattan's West Side — barely a mile from where the Titanic was supposed to dock.
Some of the items include a pair of binoculars, second-class luggage tag and china from the ship's multiple dining rooms.
More personal items were also on display, such as a vest from a third-class passenger, gold cufflinks found in a purser's bag and a diamond and silver bracelet bearing the name "Amy."
While no estimate has been set on the collection, a 2007 appraisal of the items -- including some intellectual property -- was valued at $189 million.
The auction will take place aboard the Intrepid on April 11, 2012, the 100th anniversary of the start of Titanic's maiden voyage.
For more information, visit www.guernseys.com.