The world’s most valuable biscuit has sold for a staggering £15,000 – the only one to survive the sinking Titanic.
The Spillers and Bakers ‘Pilot’ biscuit was part of a survival kit for passengers stored in one of the lifeboats which saved passengers from the doomed cruise ship.
It was pocketed by James Fenwick, a passenger onboard the SS Carpathia which was sent out to save 700 survivors.
He popped the snack in a Kodak photographic envelope – complete with original notation “Pilot biscuit from Titanic lifeboat April 1912” – as a souvenir.
It was sold by direct descendants of Mr and Mrs Fenwick, who were on a three-month honeymoon trip to Europe when their boat was redirected.
It was sold alongside a collection of photographic negatives taken by the couple of the rescue, lifeboats and survivors, and fetched more than the £8,000-£10,000 estimate.
The sale at Henry Aldridge & Son auctioneers in Devizes, Wiltshire, makes it the most valuable biscuit in the world.
Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said: “It is the world’s most valuable biscuit.
“We don’t know which lifeboat the biscuit came from but there are no other Titanic lifeboat biscuits in existence, to my knowledge.
“It is incredible that this biscuit has survived such a dramatic event.
“In terms of precedence, a few years ago a biscuit from one of Shackleton’s expeditions sold for about £3,000 and there is a biscuit from the Lusitania in a museum in the Republic of Ireland.”
The cracker made from flour and water was stored within one of the ill-fated ocean liner’s lifeboats and was bought by a collector in Greece.
It was saved by Mr Fenwick, who also kept a detailed diary of the sinking, rescue of the survivors, and their arrival in New York.
Him and his new wife also took photos of the first sightings of the lifeboats, the survivors on board the Carpathia, and their final arrival in New York.
On April 15, hours after the Titanic sank, he wrote: “5am. Awakened by hearing man’s voice Titanic gone down.
“We are rescuing passengers and are surrounded by icebergs. This is time to be up and doing.”
“Going on deck we found boats at our side, crowded with those rescued, plus other boats coming from all quarters, just beyond and on all sides of us were the ‘bergs.”
A photograph apparently showing the iceberg that sank the ill-fated liner sold at the same auction for £21,000.
It was taken by the chief steward of steamer the Prinz Adalbert, who was at the time unaware of the tragedy that had occurred the previous day.
The auction also saw a ‘loving cup’ presented to the captain of the Carpathia sell for £129,000 to a UK collector.
It was given to Captain Arthur Rostron by survivor Molly Brown and is now the third most valuable item associated with the Titanic to have ever been sold.