Let’s admit it. The “Titanic” door that saved Rose’s (Kate Winslet) life in the 1997 film had us all seething with anger and wondering after the credits roll. Had Rose been a tad smaller then would it have been able to fit both her and Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and save him as well? Even director James Cameron couldn’t answer that age-old question, saying that “Jack might’ve lived, but there’s a lot of variables” during last year’s 25th anniversary National Geographic special. ” But hopefully the person who bought the prop during Heritage Auctions’ recent Treasures from Planet Hollywood event can give an idea. 

The piece of balsa wood, dubbed the “hero flotation prop,” sold for an amazing $718,750. The auction house noted that it wasn’t actually a door, but in fact “a part of the door frame just above the [ship’s] first-class lounge entrance.”  The frame is crafted with ornate floral accents and scrolling curves, which were design motifs prevalent in rococo architecture. 

“Based on the most famous complete piece of debris salvaged from the 1912 tragedy,” the intricately carved “Titanic” door bears a striking resemblance to the Louis XV-style panel displayed in the Maritime Museum in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Cameron was a regular visitor at the museum when he did research for the Oscar-winning film. Seeing the panel inspired him to create a similar piece of debris to stage Rose and Jack’s emotional final moments.  

“Researchers believe the original oak panel represents the precise area where the luxury liner split in two. After breaking apart, it is theorized that the panel rose to the surface as the ship sank into the North Atlantic Ocean,” reads the description provided by the auction house.

The “Titanic” door measures approximately 8″ long and 41″ wide. Its back panel is reinforced with hardwood for rigidity and it has a plaque affixed on the back which reads: “Leonardo DiCaprio / Kate Winslet / ‘Titanic’ / Twentieth Century Fox / Paramount Pictures, 1997 / Floating panel that he uses to save her life in the sinking sequence of the film, in their roles as ‘Jack Dawson’ and ‘Rose DeWitt Bukater”. Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox.”

Check It Out

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions