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A flask of silver brandy that was delivered to a first-class passenger on the Titanic shortly before it sank was sold for around £ 76,000 ($ 98,000) at an auction.
Helen Churchill Candee owned the flask, engraved with her family’s coat of arms and the ominous slogan “Faithful but unhappy.”
When the disaster occurred, Churchill Candee gave the bottle to his friend and classmate, Edward Kent, and said: “You have more chances to live than me.” But Kent died and his belongings, including the bottle, were returned to his wife, who later returned the bottle to Churchill Candee, who had survived the disaster.
“The bottle is in a very bad state,” the widow wrote in a letter to Churchill Candee, a prolific writer and pioneer of women’s rights, who had returned to the United States after her son was injured in a plane crash.
The bottle remained in the family of Churchill Candee until 2005, when it was sold by Henry Aldridge & Son, based in the United Kingdom, considered a leading authority in everything related to the Titanic. When it went on sale again this year, it attracted offers from around the world by phone and online. The winning bid came from an unidentified private buyer in Great Britain.
The auctioneer, Andrew Aldridge, told CNN that the firm achieved its experience in this field “purely by chance”, when his father, Alan, made a valuation tour about 20 years ago.
Now Aldridge, the company’s executive director, started by his grandfather Henry, said: “He talked to a client and it turned out that his father was the purchasing officer for White Star Line (which was the owner of Titanic) and had been in the launch of Titanic in May 1911. “
The conversation led to the sale of a lunch menu for the launch, exceeding expectations. The auction house now has two specialized sales of Titanic each year. Its most valuable sale to date was that of the Wallace Hartley violin in 2013, which is believed to have been played in an attempt to calm the passengers when the ship sank. It sold for about 1.4 million dollars, including surcharges.
The sale of this weekend, called Titanic, White Star, Ocean Liner and Travel Memorabilia, included 270 articles. Among the other prominent pieces was a bronze lifeboat plaque with the inscription “SS Titanic” and it is believed to be from Lifeboat 12. It was originally purchased in the 1960s by a New York antique dealer at a old woman who is believed to be the third-class survivor Margaret Devaney. The value that reached in the auction was of 59,000 dollars.
More than a century later, there continues to be great worldwide interest in the artifacts of maritime disaster.
“Mainly, I think it’s the human side of the story,” Aldridge explained. “Every man, woman and child on that ship had a story to tell and those stories are told through memories.
“The bottle is a good example of this. At first glance, it’s a pretty interesting piece that without this connection could be worth a couple of hundred pounds. “
But their history and provenance make the difference, said Aldridge. “We are in a position to say exactly where he has been for the past 107 years and that is quite remarkable.”
An extremely rare silk postcard sent from the ship received $ 46,500 as part of the auction. It has as motive an embroidery of Hands Across the Sea, accompanied by the flags of the United States and Norway. The card was written aboard the Titanic by third-class passenger Henry Olsen and carries the postmark of Queenstown 3.45 on April 11.
In it you can read:
“Dear Sina, on the way to New York. A very nice boat to travel,
as you can imagine. You do not feel anything of the sea, it is most likely that you will arrive in New
York next Tuesday. Affection to everyone at home. He loves you, Henry. “
Olsen drowned when the Titanic sank.
Aldridge told CNN that it was “probably the most valuable postcard in the world” and added: “Hands Across the Sea silk postcards are incredibly rare by themselves, but this one is unique, because it was sent from the ship.”
Among the most unusual items was a cookie recovered from a lifeboat of the RMS Lusitania, which was sunk by a German submarine off the coast of Ireland in 1915 and indirectly contributed to the entry of the United States into the First World War.
The cookie, which sold for $ 7,100, was accompanied by a handwritten letter from a soldier in the Royal Engineers written shortly after the Lusitania sank, describing not only the consequences in Queenstown, Ireland, but also the story of how he obtained the cookie.
“You will find attached a cookie that I took from one of the Lusitania boats in Queenstown. I guess these cookies are put in lifeboats to feed people on board, in case they are a great distance from the ground or are drifting for many days. “