Portions of the ship itself, which is strictly protected, are virtually non-existent in the private market but the 4-by-7 inch piece of the hull being auctioned was part of the "crackage" of the great liner, which separated from the vessel as it broke in two and was recovered some distance from the wreck, a release from Heritage Auctions said Monday.
The May 21 auction is scheduled to feature relics offered on consignment from Charles Pellegrino. The pieces were sloughed off the historic liner which, although dubbed unsinkable, sank April 15, 1912.
Two other Titanic relics are being auctioned. One is a piece of the number 8 lifeboat davit and the other is a piece containing a fossilized impression of rope.
"The #8 Lifeboat railing is particularly significant," said Tom Slater, Heritage's Director of Americana. "The Titanic's band played near this location and this is also where Mrs. Isador Strauss gave her maid, Ellen Bird, her fur coat, saying she would not be needing it, then stepping away from the boat and joining her husband behind the rail saying, 'Where you go, I go.'"
At least 10 percent of the auction's proceeds will go to the Firefighter's Burn Center in New York, a spokesman for Heritage Auctions who requested anonymity told United Press International.