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Auction to offer ship artifacts on anniversary

Updated: 2012-04-09 10:07

By Ula Ilnytzky in New York (China Daily)

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An admission ticket to the launch of the Titanic and a first-class dinner menu for the ocean liner's first night at sea are among dozens of artifacts related to the doomed ship being auctioned this month, exactly 100 years after it struck an iceberg and sank on its maiden voyage.

The Bonhams auction on April 15 also includes a handwritten account by Arthur Rostron, the captain of the Carpathia, the first ship to arrive on the scene after picking up the distress call.

The letter, with a pre-sale estimate of $90,000 to $120,000, offers "a full account and timeline of what happened from the moment the Titanic struck the iceberg to the time the ship sank", Gregg K. Dietrich, Bonhams' maritime art consultant, said on Friday.

Nearly all of the 88 documents and objects relate to either the crew or the passengers.

The VIP launch ticket is estimated to sell for $50,000 to $70,000.

Also for sale are 35 of the 37 messages from the signal book of the Titanic's sister ship, the Olympic.

The first message says, "Titanic sending out signals of distress ... WE HAVE STRUCK AN ICEBERG".

A collection of 20 letters written by survivors of the Titanic is being sold as one lot for an estimated $30,000 to $50,000. The letters are from first-, second- and third-class passengers and crewmembers, "offering various accounts of what happened aboard as the ship was sinking", Dietrich said.

Second-class passenger Lilian W. Bentham wrote that she departed in a lifeboat before the ship went down, and "to this day I can hear the calls for help".

Associated Press