During the sinking, Titanic's pursers stuffed hand bags like this one full of the jewelry and money that passengers had entrusted to the safe deposit boxes. Although most of these bags went down with the Ship, the pursers probably planned to load these valuables into the lifeboats and return them to passengers in New York.
In addition to personal luggage, Titanic's general cargo included twelve cases of ostrich plumes, three cases of tennis balls, two barrels of mercury, two cases of olive oil, two cases of grandfather clocks, a marmalade machine, and a brand new Renault automobile.
Fortunately for the Gladstone handbag, its turn-of-the-century tanning process repels the microorganisms that eat organic matter on the ocean floor. RMS Titanic, Inc. is then able to recover such incredible objects that sometimes have their contents intact.