Letter written aboard Titanic sells for $200,000 - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Letter written aboard Titanic sells for $200,000

Posted: Updated:
LONDON (AP) - A letter written by a passenger on the Titanic describing the "wonderful passage" -- hours before the ship hit an iceberg -- sold at auction Saturday for 119,000 pounds ($200,000).

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said the handwritten note, which had belonged to a collector, was bought by an anonymous overseas telephone bidder during a sale in Devizes, western England.

The price, which includes a fee known as the buyer's premium, topped the pre-sale estimate of 100,000 pounds.

Aldridge said the price reflected "the exceptional quality and rarity" of the letter.

The letter was written by second-class passenger Esther Hart on April 14, 1912. "The sailors say we have had a wonderful passage up to now," she said of the ship's journey from England toward New York.

Her 7-year-old daughter Eva added a postscript: "Heaps of love and kisses to all from Eva."

Hours later the passenger liner described as "practically unsinkable" hit an iceberg and sank, killing more than 1,500 people including Hart's husband, Benjamin.

The letter, on White Star Line notepaper, was tucked inside the pocket of a sheepskin coat Benjamin Hart gave Esther as he put his wife and daughter in a lifeboat. The family had been traveling from England to Canada, where they planned to settle.

Esther and Eva were rescued, along with some 700 others.

Esther Hart died in 1928. Eva Hart, who died in 1996, became a prominent Titanic survivor, critical of attempts to salvage the ship, which she considered a mass grave.

Prices for Titanic memorabilia have soared in recent years. In October, a violin believed to have been played as the doomed vessel sank sold for more than 1 million pounds.

Aldridge, whose auction house specializes in Titanic items, said the continuing fascination with the ship and its passengers was no surprise.

"It was a microcosm of society," he said. "Every man, woman and child on that ship had a story to tell, so you have over 2,200 individual subplots to the main story.

"The Titanic encapsulates almost every human emotion we are able to experience."
  • U.S. & World NewsMore>>

  • US mission to rescue hostages in Syria failed

    US mission to rescue hostages in Syria failed

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:53 PM EDT2014-08-21 01:53:33 GMT
    Senior Obama administration officials say the U.S. military launched a secret mission earlier this summer to rescue a number of Americans held captive by militants in Syria but failed to find them.[more]
    President Barack Obama sent special operations troops to Syria this summer on a secret mission to rescue American hostages, including journalist James Foley, held by Islamic State extremists, but they did not find them,...[more]
  • 10 Things to Know for Thursday

    10 Things to Know for Thursday

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:13 PM EDT2014-08-21 01:13:25 GMT
    By The Associated Press Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday:[more]
    By The Associated Press Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday:[more]
  • Holder says he understands mistrust of police

    Holder says he understands mistrust of police

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 8:43 PM EDT2014-08-21 00:43:51 GMT
    Police and protesters in Ferguson were finally able to share the streets again at night, putting aside for at least a few hours some of the hostility that had filled those hours with tear gas and smoke.[more]
    Attorney General Eric Holder sought Wednesday to reassure the people of Ferguson about the investigation into Michael Brown's death and said he understands why many black Americans do not trust police, recalling how he...[more]
  • Stay Connected

  • Like Us on Facebook
  • Follow Us on Twitter
Powered by WorldNow

WHDH TV 7NBC WLVI TV CW56
Sunbeam Television Corp
7 Bulfinch Place
Boston, MA 02114

News Tips: (800) 280-TIPS
Tell Hank: (855) 247-HANK
Corporate Media Services: (800) 642-1551

Can't find something?
Connect with us here:
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WHDH. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.