Rare, important Titanic letters to be sold Mar. 1-3 at Philip Weiss Auctions Two rare and important letters relating to the doomed ocean liner Titanic, plus three early Titanic Marconigrams (radio telegrams) will be sold March 1-3 by Philip Weiss Auctions in Oceanside, N.Y.
use loading lifeboats, a duty that fell under his direct command.
Second, Lightoller acted under the misconception that the wooden lifeboats would break in their davits if fully loaded and should therefore be sent away half-empty for a later, fuller loading when the upper decks sank nearer the water. He was also faulted for excessive speed, not having binoculars in the crow’s nest and traveling through an ice field on a night that, while clear and calm, had been the object of warnings by other boats in the area to ‘heave to’ until morning.
In the end, Lightoller was the last survivor loaded into a lifeboat. He went on to have a long career at sea before passing away in 1954. Perhaps ironically, as a result of his testimony at a British Inquiry following the Titanic disaster, many of his recommendations for avoiding such accidents in the future were adopted -- not just by Britain and the U.S. but all maritime nations.
All three of the Marconigrams were sent on April 15, 1912, the date of the sinking, and all three carry pre-sale estimates of $3,000-$5,000. The earliest of the trio, sent at 7:45 a.m. from the ship Olympic, states, “Since midnight, when her position was 41.46 N 50.14W have been unable to communicate. We are now 310 miles from her. Will inform at once if hear anything.”
The second Marconigram, sent just five minutes later, at 7:50 a.m., asks, “Captain Asian Can you give me any information on Titanic and if any ships standing by her Commander.” The third one, sent much later, at 4:40 p.m., states, “Inexpressive sorrow am proceeding straight on voyage Carpathia informs me no hope in searching will send names of survivors as obtainable.”
The auction will kick off Thursday, March 1, at 2 p.m. (EST), with 400+ lots of sports-related items, non-sports cards, comics and comic art. Friday, March 2, will feature more than 600 lots of transportation, military, historical, circus, posters and advertising, starting at 2 p.m. The Saturday session, March 3, at 10 a.m., will include 600+ lots of toys, trains and toy soldiers.
A few of the expected top lots include a 19th century William Demuth Punch cigar store advertising figure; a jump suit worn by a driver at the first Indianapolis 500 car race, in 1911; a program from the first game played at Yankee Stadium, in 1923; a rare Montauk, N.Y., poster; and a goalie stick signed by players from the 1953-54 Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings.
The Titanic lots will be offered on Friday, March 2, along with additional Titanic memorabilia, plus an original oil painting by marine artist Antonio Jacobsen (N.Y./N.J., 1850-1921); other maritime-related items; material from the Bushnell and Kulukundus estates (ocean liner-related signs, prints, photos and souvenir items); and many transportation items. Internet bidding will be facilitated by Proxibid. Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted.
Philip Weiss Auctions will also have a one-day estate sale on Friday, March 15, starting at 6