A Biscuit From the Titanic Just Sold for $23,000

The biscuit was kept as a souvenir by a passenger on the rescue ship Carpathia. . (Photo: Henry Aldridge & Son Auction House)

That an artifact associated with the Titanic disaster sold for a huge sum of cash is nothing new. But unlike the countless other items that have passed under the auctioneer's gavel, this one just happens to be (somewhat) edible.

A biscuit that came pre-packaged as part of the survival kit found in each of the Titanic's 20 lifeboats has sold at auction for $23,000. The unusual artifact was saved by James Fenwick, a passenger on the vessel Carpathia that rescued Titanic's survivors. Fenwick kept the small cracker in a Kodak film envelope with the note: “Pilot biscuit from Titanic lifeboat April 1912.”

The biscuit was created by Spillers and Bakers, a manufacturer of emergency rations. The reason this piece of history looks exactly the same as the day it was pressed boils down to its lack of moisture.

“If you get one of those and leave it out, it will dry and it will fossilize,” auctioneer Alan Aldridge told The Washington Post. “If you left a slice of bread out, it would go green and start to rot, but hot cross buns don’t, and neither do these biscuits.”

In addition to the biscuit, the Henry Aldridge & Son auction house also sold a cup presented by Titanic survivor Molly Brown to the captain of the Carpathia ($200,000) and a photo of one of several suspected icebergs thought to have collided with the ship.