Friday, April 13, 2012 | 2 a.m.
When the Titanic sank in the middle of the icy Atlantic on April 14, 1912, it took 1,500 of its passengers and countless personal effects and artifacts to the bottom of the ocean.
Seventy-three years later, the wreckage was finally discovered, sparking an increased cultural fascination with the fabled ship that grew into a frenzy after the release of James Cameron’s 1997 film, “Titanic.”
Through the years, multiple expeditions to the Titanic’s final resting place have come back with artifacts that give a sense of the life and the people aboard the ship.
More than 300 of those artifacts currently reside at the Titanic exhibit at the Luxor, which also features replica and historical exhibits about the ship.
Here’s a look at nine items rescued from the depths of the ocean that are currently in Las Vegas:
Alligator skin bag
A small black bag made of alligator skin, this artifact belonged to passenger Marion Ogden Meanwell. Its contents included bank receipts, an inspection card, a manifest sheet and toiletry items.
The Titanic set sail with a full provision of libations, including 20,000 bottles of beer and 1,500 bottles of wine. A Champagne bottle was one of several recovered from the ship’s wreckage that was still intact.
Gold sovereign coin
This gold coin bearing the likeness of Queen Victoria was one of 543 coins recovered from the ship during a 1987 expedition to the wreckage. Gold sovereign coins, which weigh about three grams, were first minted in 1817 in an attempt to standardize currency.
A pair of black leather shoes still have their original laces and bear gold lettering inside the heel that reads “Mortons, 42 Commercial Rd. Bouremouth.” The shoes were found among the belongings of passenger Edgar Andrews.
Perfume vials and case
This small leather case was found containing 62 sample-sized bottles of perfume believed to belong to Adolphe Saalfeld, an English perfume maker on his way to New York.
The vials still contain some fragrant perfume, with scents like carnation, musk, lily of the valley and cashmere bouquet.
A large blue sapphire is surrounded with several small diamonds in pear-shaped petals. Made with 18-karat yellow gold and platinum, the ring was recovered from the wreckage in 1987.
Preserved by a leather suitcase while it sat at the bottom of the ocean for nearly 90 years, the piece of sheet music is not believed to have belonged to any members of the ship’s onboard orchestra.
It was recovered during a 2001 expedition and is part of the score for “Some of These Days,” a popular jazz standard during the early 1900s.
The Big Piece
Stretching 26 feet, 6 inches by 12 feet, 6 inches, The Big Piece is a portion of the Titanic’s starboard hull recovered in 1998.
The 15-ton hunk of metal came from the ship’s C Deck and has portholes that were used by guests in two luxury suites.
A ceramic jar of toothpaste was provided as a souvenir to first- and second-class passengers on the Titanic. Toothpaste was considered a luxury at a time when many people used bread, salt or celery to try to clean their teeth.