An array of rare artifacts -- said to be the biggest ever collection of the Titanic assets comprising over 5,000 pieces which were recovered from the wreck of the RMS Titanic -- will go under the hammer April 11, honoring the 100th anniversary of the maiden voyage of the doomed ship.
The collection will be sold off as a single lot in the auction, Guernsey's Auction House in New York said in a statement Wednesday.
Some of the artifacts in the collection include a diamond-encrusted bracelet and a pocket watch. Also, video of the dives since the time the wreck site was discovered, 3D images of the ship, and the first and only comprehensive survey map of the wreck site also form a part of the auction.
A cast bronze name board and three other pieces from the Titanic cruise ship's life boat were sold off at Christie's auction house in New York in 2006.
However a unique aspect that sets the upcoming auction apart from the previous auctions of Titanic artifacts, is the opportunity for the highest bidder to assume the role of steward of the Titanic, to protect and preserve the wreck site for future generations.
The shipyard of Harland & Wolff in Belfast, Northern Ireland, launched the Titanic May 31, 1911. The vessel was soon dubbed Queen of the Ocean and the Unsinkable ship, but on April 15, 1912, a year later, the Titanic sank in the Atlantic Ocean after striking an iceberg on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City.
The Titanic wreck site, which was discovered in more than 12,400 feet of water in the North Atlantic in 1985, is now considered an archaeological resource site as defined under the United States Archaeological Resources Protection Act.
However, the site will gradually disappear because of environmental reasons, leaving behind the artifacts recovered so far.
Titanic is slowly being consumed by iron-eating microbes on the sea floor and, at some point in the not-too-distant future, it will be only a memory, Mark Sellers, Chairman of Premier Exhibitions, Inc. and RMS Titanic, Inc, said, highlighting the importance of preserving artifacts, which are to be sold at the auction.
Guernsey's Auction House held a media-only preview of some of the artifacts Thursday, aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, docked hardly a mile from the site where the Titanic would have arrived had it completed its voyage to New York City in 1912.
Scroll down to view the artifacts.