The first ever auction of Titanic artefacts gathered from its final resting place is to take place in New York, 100 years after the luxury liner sank on its maiden voyage.
Items gathered from the ocean surface and from survivors have been sold in the past, but the sale will see more than 5,000 items plucked from the ocean bed go under the hammer on April 1.
The wreck was found in 1985 by an international team led by oceanographer Robert Ballard, about 400 miles (644km) off Newfoundland, Canada.
The vast majority of the ship’s opulent furnishings remain within the two main sections of the wreck, which is considered “sacred” and off limits to salvage teams.
Auctioneer Arlan Ettinger revealed his Guernsey’s Auctioneers & Brokers had heard from some descendants of the more than 700 survivors, including one offering papers found on the floating body of a passenger.
The papers will not be included, but something perhaps more poignant will be: a children’s bracelet with the name Amy spelled out in diamonds.
Only two Amys were listed among 2,228 passengers, of whom more than 1,500 died.
“It’s very personal and very touching to see that,” Mr Ettinger said.
The auction will feature clothing, fine china, gold coins, silverware and “The Big Piece” – a 17-tonne section of the Titanic’s hull – pulled from the pitch-black depths more than two miles (nearly 4km) beneath the North Atlantic.
Under a federal maritime court ruling, the items cannot be sold individually and they must go to a buyer who agrees properly to maintain the collection and make it available for occasional public viewing.