A Titanic letter once written on the ship’s stationary by Esther Hart sells for $200k.
The letter was also penned by her 7-year-old daughter Eva shortly before it sank.
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 $168,000 US.
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 travelling 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 $1.7 million US.
“My Dear ones all. As you see it is Sunday afternoon and we are resting in the library after luncheon,” the letter read. “This morning Eva and I went to church…and she sang out loud, she is very bonny.”