It was sold over the weekend by Henry Aldridge & Son auction house, along with a photograph that purports to show the iceberg that caused the historic collision, which went for $32,200.
“You might say it’s the cracker that took the biscuit,” Alan Aldridge told The Washington Post, referencing a Britishism that uses “take the biscuit” to mean arriving at a pinnacle — similar to Americans’ “take the cake.”
Aldridge noted with a chuckle that while the 3.5 inches square artifact is “very much a human biscuit,” Spillers and Bakers was known as a manufacturer of dog treats. The human goods they created were “nothing fancy”; they were generally used as emergency rations or sustenance during times of war.
In this case, the 103-year-old cracker was part of a survival kit on one of the Titanic lifeboats. The Carpathia, after finally hearing a distress signal from the Titanic, steamed beyond its rated top speed for some 58 miles over four hours, only to discover the Titanic gone. The ship did manage to rescue some 700 passengers who had escaped in lifeboats.
“I couldn’t imagine anything less appetizing, but if you’re in a rowing boat in the middle of the ocean, you’d certainly eat it with the rest of them,” Aldridge said.
He explained that the cracker has survived all these years because it’s similar in composition to a hot cross bun.
“If you get one of those and leave it out, it will dry and it will fossilize,” Aldridge said. “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.”