Floating Door Prop From ‘Titanic’ Sells At Auction For More Than $700,000

Published April 1, 2024

The wooden door frame from Titanic played a pivotal role in the 1997 movie and has been the subject of debate among fans in years since.

Titanic Door

Paramount Pictures and 20th Century FoxJack and Rose’s final moments on the debris from the RMS Titanic.

In one of the most famous scenes from 1997’s Titanic, Jack and Rose cling to a piece of floating debris in the icy waters of the North Atlantic after the ship sinks. It’s freezing cold, help is still far away, and there is — apparently — only room for one of them on the panel. Now, the Titanic door has sold at auction for an eye-popping $718,750.

It was just one of many iconic pieces of movie memorabilia at a Heritage Auctions sale in March 2024.

The Sale Of The Titanic Door

The wood panel from Titanic “was the king of the auction,” according to a press release from Heritage Auctions, which sold the prop alongside other Hollywood memorabilia at the auction. In less than five minutes, the Titanic door attracted many competitive bids before selling to an anonymous buyer for $718,750.

“Based on the most famous complete piece of debris salvaged from the 1912 tragedy, this intricately carved prop bears a striking resemblance to the Louis XV-style panel housed in the Maritime Museum in Halifax, Nova Scotia,” Heritage Auctions explained on their site. “Director James Cameron regularly visited the museum when doing research for the Oscar-winning film, which inspired him to create a similar piece of debris to stage Jack’s (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose’s (Kate Winslet) emotional final moments.”

Door From Titanic

Heritage AuctionsThe movie prop was based on actual debris recovered from the wreckage of the RMS Titanic.

The ornate prop, made of balsa wood, is often referred to as a “door,” but Heritage Auction notes that it’s actually a piece of “the door frame just above the first-class lounge entrance.” In real life, the part of the Titanic that it’s based on may have been “the precise area where the luxury liner split in two.”

In Titanic, it sets the scene for Jack and Rose’s final moments. Rose, atop the board, survives; Jack, who clings to the side, dies of hypothermia.

This scene proved to be so controversial among some fans — who believed that the door was big enough for both Jack and Rose and that Jack could have survived, too — that director James Cameron commissioned a study to look into it. He found that Jack could not have survived but added that logistics didn’t 100 percent matter since Jack had to die for the sake of the plot, anyway.

The Titanic door, certainly one of the most iconic props in recent Hollywood history, was just one of the many remarkable items sold by Heritage Auctions.

Other Hollywood Treasures Sold Alongside The Titanic Door

Indiana Jones Whip

Heritage AuctionsThis whip from Indiana Jones was one of many pieces of Hollywood memorabilia to be sold at the recent auction.

The five-day auction sold 1,600 items that had previously served as decor at Planet Hollywood resorts and restaurants around the world.

“There were countless bidding wars during the Treasures of Planet Hollywood auction — so many we lost track,” Joe Maddalena, Executive Vice President at Heritage Auctions, noted in the press release.

In addition to the Titanic door, the auction also sold the whip from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) for $525,000, the ax used by Jack Nicholson in The Shining (1980) for $125,000, and a pink halter dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in Let’s Make Love (1960) for $137,500.

A number of other Titanic props were also sold, including the ship’s helm wheel ($200,000), a large “brass engine order telegraph” ($81,250), and the chiffon dress Rose wears as the ship sinks ($118,750).

According to Maddalena, the success of the auction is proof that people are still fascinated and enamored by Hollywood movies. He said: “The extraordinary success of this auction proves what I’ve known all along: The interest in and appetite for modern-movie props and costumes — all of which were once displayed in Planet Hollywoods worldwide or part of their legendary archives — is profound, deep, and insatiable.”

After reading about the sale of the Titanic door at auction, discover the full story of the 1912 sinking of the Titanic. Or, look through this collection of heartbreaking Titanic artifacts and learn the stories behind them.

Kaleena Fraga
A staff writer for All That's Interesting, Kaleena Fraga has also had her work featured in The Washington Post and Gastro Obscura, and she published a book on the Seattle food scene for the Eat Like A Local series. She graduated from Oberlin College, where she earned a dual degree in American History and French.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.