This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Titanic Auction Calls for a Gigantic Bankroll

Stock quotes in this article: PRXI

BOSTON ( MainStreet) -- It's the ultimate luxury item: A 5,500-piece collection of artifacts recovered from the Titanic -- and you can buy it all for around $200 million at auction this spring on the 100th anniversary of the ship's sinking.

"We have determined that the time has come for us to transfer ownership of this collection to a steward who is able to continue our efforts and will preserve and honor Titanic's legacy," says Mark Sellers of Premier Exhibitions (PRXI), which holds official salvage rights to the vessel and will auction off its entire collection April 15.

A 17-ton piece of the Titanic's hull is among items going up for auction this spring, but don't expect to just pick up this single piece for your front yard. The entire lot of salvaged artifacts is to be sold together for an estimated $189 million.

That's the 100th anniversary of the day Titanic sank some 400 miles off of the Canadian coast after striking an iceberg during its maiden voyage from Britain to America.

Billed as unsinkable, the luxury liner didn't carry enough lifeboats for everyone, and two-thirds of its 2,200 passengers and crew -- including super-wealthy ticket holders such as John Jacob Astor IV and Benjamin Guggenheim -- perished.

Titanic memorabilia has been a hot seller ever since, with companies bringing out items such as commemorative postcards within days of the disaster.

"The stunning news of its sinking shook the world, resulting in countless books and magazine articles revealing endless 'mini-sagas' about the lives of the passengers on board," said Arlan Ettinger of Guernsey's, which is conducting the auction. "On a personal level, my 12-year-old son seems as fascinated by the Titanic as my father was before me. The saga just seems to go on and on."

Gary Robinson, one of about two-dozen major Titanic collectors, said the 1997 film Titanic -- which won 11 Academy awards and grossed a then-record $1.8 billion worldwide -- took interest in the disaster to a whole new level.

"The movie was both a blessing and a curse for collectors," he said. "It was a blessing in that it bought out items from peoples' closets and attics that they didn't previously think the public would have much interest in. But it was a curse in that it drove memorabilia prices through the roof."

Auctioneers around the world plan to mark the shipwreck's centennial by holding the largest auctions ever of life jackets, dinner menus and other surviving items from the ship.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,042.90 -28.32 -0.17%
S&P 500 1,972.29 -5.51 -0.28%
NASDAQ 4,493.39 -12.4620 -0.28%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs