Record price for rare letter written on Titanic the day it sank
Survivor Esther Hart wrote the letter to her mother in Chadwell Heath, East London, but it was never sent.
A letter written on the doomed Titanic liner on the day the ship sank has sold at auction for a world record $166,000.
Penned by survivor Esther Hart, the letter shattered the previous record by almost $40,000.
It is the last letter known to have been written on the ill-fated lined before it struck an iceberg on Sunday April 14, 1912.
The letter is headed ‘On board Titanic’ and was written on Titanic stationery.
It comes complete with an envelope embossed with the White Star Line flag according to a report in the Irish Independent.
Hart, traveling with her daughter and well-known survivor Eva Hart, writes about being ill while on board the New York-bound liner.
She wrote: “My Dear ones all. As you see it is Sunday afternoon and we are resting in the library after luncheon.
“I was very bad all day yesterday could not eat or drink and sick all the while, but today I have got over it.”
She then describes attending a church service with her daughter Eva and the trip so far.
She added: “Tho they say this Ship does not roll on account of its size. Any how it rolls enough for me, I shall never forget it. It is very nice weather but awfully windy and cold.
“They say we may get into New York Tuesday night but we are really due early Wednesday morning, shall write as soon as we get there.”
The letter was to be delivered to Hart’s mother in England when the ship returned to Southampton but was never sent after the tragedy.
Hart’s husband Benjamin was one of some 1500 crew and passengers who lost their lives on Titanic but Hart and her daughter Eva were among those rescued by HMS Carpathia.
Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said: “The importance of this legendary item cannot be overstated, being the only known surviving example of its type to have been written on that fateful day, surviving the sinking, and having belonged to such a well-known survivor.
“The letter and envelope are in remarkable condition, with an impeccable provenance, and they represent a truly unique opportunity to own the finest example of its genre in existence. It is quite simply the jewel in the crown of Titanic manuscript ephemera.”
The London auction to mark the 102nd anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking saw several other records smashed.
A second class breakfast menu, one of only a handful to have survived, sold for $120,000.
An extremely rare VIP ticket for the launch of Titanic in Belfast on May 31st 1911 sold for $55,000.
The report adds that an insurance claim form detailing attempts by the most senior officer to survive the disaster to downplay the iceberg collision went for $12,500.