Titanic letter
This letter is the last known example to have been written on the Titanic before it sunk in the Atlantic in 1912. It was auctioned at Henry Aldridge & Son on October 22 and sold for a record £100,000.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

It was written on April 13, 1912 - the day before the huge ship hit an iceberg and sank killing more than 1500 people.

Carrying an estimate of £60,000-80,000, it was auctioned at Titanic memorabilia specialists Henry Aldridge & Son and sold at a hammer price of £100,000 to a British buyer over the phone.

A letter from a Titanic survivor which sold in 2014 for a hammer price of £101,000 held the record for the sale of a letter from the ship. However, including buyer’s premium and fees, the letter auctioned this month sold for a total of £126,000, above the premium-inclusive £119,000 set in 2014.

Written by an American businessman passenger Oscar Holverson, it is the only known letter on headed Titanic notepaper to have gone into the Atlantic and survived despite the death of its author. He had boarded the ship with his wife Mary in Southampton and planned to travel back to their home in New York.

Holverson’s body was recovered and, inside a pocket book, the letter was found bearing the stains of the sea water and the water mark of the White Star shipping line.

The letter eventually made its way back to his mother and contained a poignant mention of the trip when Holverson wrote: “If all goes well we will arrive in New York Wednesday AM.".

The letter sold at the Devizes auction on October 22 alongside a number of other items from the ill-fated ship. A locker key sold for a premium-inclusive £85,000 and a postcard from the ship’s chief wireless operator, Jack Phillips, made a premium-inclusive £19,000.

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said: “The prices illustrate the enduring interest in the Titanic and her passengers and crew… This record for the Titanic letter reflects its status as the most important Titanic letter we have ever auctioned.”

The all-time record of a Titanic item is a violin which sold in 2013.