Auction of Titanic proportions sells $65,000 letter

<i>Titanic</i> costars Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio
Titanic costars Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio

Relics from the ill-fated cruise ship Titanic are set to go under the hammer online in the US for close to a million dollars.

RR Auction has 408 items for sale from December 8, when history buffs and Leonardo DiCaprio fans alike will tussle for a piece of the Titanic story most recently made famous in James Cameron's epic 1997 film of the same name.

Estimates for prices range from $100 for original newspaper editions reporting the rescue of passengers by the Carpathia to $75,000 for an original deck chair.

The chair, as the most expensive item listed, is one of only seven known to exist and is listed as being one of 50 thrown into the water by the Titanic's baker in order to provide makeshift flotation devices.

Other big-note items include letters and postcards written by passengers while on board the Titanic, one of which is estimated to sell for $60,000-$65,000.

"That letter was written on board Titanic, on Titanic's special stationery that actually had Titanic's name on it, written the very day before Titanic sailed," Titanic International Society trustee Craig Sopin said.

"The letter is very special because it was written by Titanic's assistant surgeon, Edward Simpson. It's a letter to the White Star Line Medical Corp., asking that he officially be transferred to act as the assistant surgeon on Titanic."

Sopin explained the more an item has to tell about the ship's history, the higher it is in value and such is the case with the Simpson letter.

"We have something extremely poignant because this is part of Titanic's official story, something that you normally don't get a chance to own in private hands," he said.

Other items of note include a photograph of the iceberg that sank the Titanic, taken by the captain of another vessel two days prior to the disaster (estimated at $10,000), a gold ring recovered from the body of a steward (estimated at $25,000), a piece of the first class grand staircase which was the point at which the ship split in two (estimated at $20,000) and a lifeboat flag (estimated $40,000).

This story Auction of Titanic proportions sells $65,000 letter first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.