The tragedy of the Titanic has captured the attention of the public for more than 100 years. The story of the demise of the "unsinkable ship" is familiar to modern audiences thanks in part to the 1997 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. The fact that the Titanic still has the power to enthrall all these years later is demonstrated in the fact that a letter written from the ship just moments before it hit the infamous iceberg sold at auction for $200,000. The letter was auctioned off in London and won by an American collector. It is in supreme condition and thought to be the only surviving letter from the disaster. Certainly a prized collectible for its rarity and connection to the notorious ship, the letter offers a touching look into the human loss on that tragic night. Collectors who delight in such personal artifacts can peruse the various collectibles auctions at iCollector.
The letter was sold at auction in Wiltshire, England, along with its original envelope. It was written on stationery that reads "On Board RMS Titanic." Esther Hart wrote the letter on April 14, 1912, mere hours before the ship would crash into an iceberg and begin its slow descent into the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Esther and her daughter Eva, who was only 7 years old when the Titanic sunk, both survived the tragedy, though Esther's husband, Benjamin, did not. The letter survived because Esther had placed it in her coat pocket before getting into a lifeboat with her daughter. Though Esther and Eva survived the ordeal, more than 1,500 passengers were not as lucky. Eva Hart would grow up to become a staunch advocate for the remembrance of the Titanic and the people who died on board. She was a vocal and prominent survivor, often featuring in various nonfiction accounts of the event.
Auctions across the world have seen many pieces of Titanic memorabilia selling for very large sums. Last October, a violin that is believed to have been played as the ship sank was sold at auction for more than $1 million. Other Titanic items sold with the letter included a second-class breakfast menu, a launch ticket and a "Letter of Marine Protest" – a four-page document filled out by survivors upon their arrival in New York on April 19th, 1912. These lots sold for $146,000, $67,000 and $15,000, respectively.
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