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Titanic’s 1st Class Luggage

Titanic’s 1st Class Luggage, Inside the suitcase of one 1st class Edwardian ladies luggage lost with the Titanic

Over 1,500 souls lost their lives in the early hours of April 15, 1912 on the RMS Titanic. The Titanic is not only the resting place of many people it has taken with it many treasures and artefacts under the sea. Let’s explore what was in some of the Titanic’s 1st Class Luggage. Exquisite clothes, jewellery and art from the ship were submerged on the fateful Titanic’s Maiden voyage.

We may not know exactly what went down with the titanic but interesting and detailed insurance claims from some of the 1st class survivors list what was actually lost with the Titanic. So what were the 1st class passengers carrying and how does that compare today to those people that like to travel in suite class or the equivalent such as Yacht Club on MSC?

Let’s look at one woman’s insurance claim Inside the suitcase of a 1st class passenger with a detailed list of what she had onboard. All these artefacts are still lying at the bottom of the sea.

What was in a Titanic’s 1st Class Luggage?

Did Titanic passengers save their luggage?

No, when the Titanic’s passengers were being loaded into the lifeboats, they were not allowed to take any luggage with them. Some survivors did take small bags containing personal effects such as music boxes and jewellery but most carried nothing with them. The rest of the Titanic’s 1st Class Luggage went down with the ship. There was a story of a man called Samuel L. Goldenberg who came ashore in New York with baggage. This later turned out to be untrue and Samuel issued a statement explaining that it was from the Carpathia.

A group of Edwardian men and women, survivors of the Titanic floating to safety aboard a lifeboat 1912
A group of Edwardian men and women, survivors of the Titanic floating to safety aboard a lifeboat 1912

What was inside the luggage of an Edwardian 1st class Titanic survivor?

How do we know what luggage and jewels were lost with the Titanic? To find out what was in Titanic’s 1st Class Luggage we can explore one of the many insurance claims filled with Titanic survivors.

Charlotte Wardle Cardeza also known as Charlotte Drake Martinez Cardeza was a First class passenger who survived the sinking of the Titanic. Later on she went on to file this claim for her lost property. As part of the claim, she included a list of the items she brought aboard with her.

Charlotte Cardeza had a first class top suite on deck B of the Titanic maiden voyage. Her suite was the largest suite of rooms on the Titanic and ticket and door number was no B-51/53/55. Her ticket number 17755 cost her £512, 6s.

Charlotte was married to James Warburton Martinez Cardeza in 1874 and lived in a mansion in Montebello, Germantown, Pennsylvania. She boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg with her son Thomas and her maid Anna Ward.

Charlotte Wardle Cardeza Photo what was in Titanic’s 1st Class Luggage
Charlotte Wardle Cardeza

What Luggage trunks did they carry in 1st class on Titanic?

Titanic’s 1st Class Luggage was not simply the likes of what we pack in todays suitcase’s. These travellers where going to be away for a long time for some it would be their final destination and sadly for many more that was the case. For example in first class on Titanic they would of been carrying their belongings in expensive trunks such as Inovation wardrobe trunks or Louis Vuitton Trunks. Innovation is the company that began the wardrobe trunk movement and if you were a seasoned traveller you would have had several of these. They were large with locks and clasps and contained drawers and hangers for clothes and personal accessories. 

These were the 23 lost luggage bags, holdalls or trunks made by the likes of Inovation, Goyer and Louis Vuitton that Charlotte took onboard;

  • Innovation trunk 
  • Innovation trunk 
  • Louis Vuitton tray trunk 
  • Vuitton trunk 
  • A Mendel trunk 
  • Mendel drawer trunk 
  • Louis Vuitton dress trunk 
  • A Louis Vuitton hat trunk 
  • Another Louis Vuitton hat trunk
  • Shoe trunk by Louis Vuitton
  • An Innovation steam trunk
  • Carry all Inovation flexible bag
  • Medicine chest
  • Dress suitcase
  • Goyard Tray trunk 
  • hat trunk
  • Automobile trunk 
  • 2 leather bags 
  • 3 packing cases
  • One jewel case deposited with the Purser

What was inside the luggage of Charlotte Cardeza

This itemised statement shows exactly what the Edwardian women in suite class would of been wearing and what they were carrying. Charlotte Cardeza who travelled in first class on the Titanic would of been wearing stylish Edwardian dresses.

Charlotte shopped at only the best boutiques in Europe. She purchased her jewellery in places such as Tiffany’s of London and her clothes from the top Parisian boutiques. Charlotte owned only the finest gowns and dresses, which were made of exquisite silks. Her dresses were made with crepes, satins and the finest laces. The dresses were embellished with beads, appliqués and often hand embroidered. They were in beautiful colours such as baby blue and coral, perfect for all of the parties and gala nights onboard the Titanic.

In her first Inovation trunk she had dresses such as;

  • Blue Russian dress, $275
  • Black chiffon dress, with white dots, trimmed with cerise, Princess. $215
  • White chiffon dress, with black dots and flowers by Redfern, Paris. $270
  • White dress, with gray stripe and gray embroidery and lace, Lord & Taylor. $155
  • White chiffon dress, with pink roses and black ribbon border. $340
  • Mauve crepe brocade dress, Redfern, Paris, Redfern, Paris. $300
  • Coral pink chiffon dress, trimmed with embroidery and lace, Lord & Taylor. $352
  • White broadcloth dress, with Venetian lace, Redfern, Paris. $500
  • Mulberry velvet dress, Black Chiffon and velvet dress, Ungar, Vienna. $345
  • Baby blue dotted lawn dress, with lace, Lord & Taylor, $150.
  • White chiffon dress, with blue flowers, Redfern, Paris. $415
  • Navy chine dress, with polka đots, covered with chiffon, Lord & Taylor. $150
  • Pink Flannel wrapper $50
Charlotte Cardeza’s baggage insurance claim. Titanic’s 1st Class Luggage
Charlotte Cardeza’s baggage insurance claim

What jewellery did Charlotte Cardeza have that was lost with the Titanic?

The contents of Charlotte Cardeza’s jewel case amounted to the loss of $104,753.00 ( evillent to more than 2.8 million dollars today. The most expensive piece of jewellery was a Tiffany New York Ring with a Burmah ruby and 2 diamonds at a value of $20,902. Some of her other lost Titanic jewels are as follows;

  • Ring, Hung arian opal and 12 diamonds $530
  • Necklace, 63 imitation pearls, clasp of 10 di amonds and 1 ruby $500 
  • Pendant, Aqua marine surrounded by 38 diamonds with 4 diamonds in clasp $ 1,350.
  • LaVelliere, with platinum chain, canary marquise, white marquise, 22 sma1l diamonds $2,200
  •  Pink diamond, 6 7/16 carats. Tiffany, New York $20,000
  • White oblong Diamond3 7/82 carats of an old Indian stone $8,000 

The history of Edwardian dress in Titanics 1st class luggage

The history of Edwardian dress can be found in evidnace such as these insurance claims and it is so fansinating what we can learn from this. The type of clothes upper class woman in Edwardian times would of been wearing in 1912. Silk gloves, feather hats, stocking and Edwardian waist were common in the day. They are so different from today for instance these are some of the clothes that were claimed for in the luggage of Charlotte Cardeza;

  • Blue Kid Slippers with Stockings to match $10
  • Red felt bedroom slippers with fur tops $6
  • 2 silk nightgowns form Rouff Paris $60
  • 6 pairs of silk gloves $15
  • White camels hair coat Redfern Paris $210
  • 2 pink silk chemises $35
  • 3 pairs silk drawers $47
  • corset cover with butterflies and wreaths antique lace Rouff Paris $24
  • white satin waists with chiffon Redfern Paris $30
  • black viels $11
  • Numerous bird feathers for dressing hats
  • Velvet hat New York $85
  • Box with flowers for hair $32
  • Mother of Pearl Lace fan $250
An example of Edwardian dress around the time of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912
An example of Edwardian dress around the time of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912

What was some of the luggage worth on the Titanic?

This an example of what the luggage was worth in first class on the Titanic. 1st class Titanic passenger Charlotte Cardeza made a total insurance claim of $177,352,75 for her belonging that were lost. This is over 4.4 million dollars today!

On the other end of the scale were passengers travelling in third class or steerage like Yum Hee of Hong Kong for instance. Yum Hee filed an insurance claim for just $91.05. His most expensive item was a suit of clothes valued at £2.5.

What else was lost with the Titanic?

Many other artefacts not just clothing were lost such as art and jewellery. Other claims for loss of property can be seen such as Margaret Brown (unsinkable Molly). Amongst her luggage she had three crates of ancient models destined for the Denver Museum. 

How much was a ticket in first class on the titanic? 

Charlotte Cardeza occupied a suite on titanic and her ticket number 17755 cost her £512, 6s. That is equivalent to £59,805.79 today!

What was the difference between 1st class on titanic to suite class on royal Caribbean for instance?

Can you compare the Titanic to Symphony of the Seas 1st class for instance? The Titanic was not a cruise ship but a liner. It was made to transport people from A to B and not solely for a vacation. That being said there were different ways in which they could proceed to make travelling  from the UK to America as luxurious as possible.

The Titanic rivaled some of the the best of hotels in Europe and America. However it was primarily a passenger liner and this becomes obvious when you read statements of survivors. These survivors claimed they overheard the captain and crew saying they would go full steam ahead and surprise everyone in New York with an early arrival. Can you image being dropped off of your cruise a day early?

Also due to the fact there were very few ships of its type in 1912 compared to the many luxurious modern cruise ships today you can not really compare the price. However staying in a top class royal suite or the ultimate Family suite on the Symphony of the Seas can cost around averages £50,000 to £90,000 a week now.

What’s inside Titanic’s 1st Class Luggage is interesting as it tells a story of the people of the time. A tragic moment captured in time forever.

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