Henry Aldridge Titanic Auction Devizes 2005

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Sep 3, 2004
I thought the board would be interested in our pre sale press release regarding our September auction of Titanic and White Star memorabilia.

I am at the moment in the process of organizing two large auctions of antiques and collectors items which will take up my time until the end of this month. But I will gladly answer any questions anyone has regarding any of the lots once these sales are completed at the end of July. I will be posting further press releases on our website in the run up to the sale about important lots not mentioned here.

Best Wishes

Andrew Aldridge



TEL:01380 729199 FAX:01380 730073

RMS Titanic Devizes 2005


Henry Aldridge and Son, the worlds leading auctioneers of Titanic memorabilia are delighted to give notice of their forthcoming auction of Titanic and White Star items on September 17th in Devizes, Wiltshire. The sale contains without doubt some of the most important fresh to the market artifacts relating to the great ship to be offered in recent years.

Walter Lord's A Night to Remember is widely regarded as one of the most important books relating to the Titanic and the sequel. A Night Lives On is equally highly thought of. One passenger who is featured in both is the American authoress Helen Churchill Candee who was without doubt a pioneer in her chosen field. One of her most important works was How Woman Can Earn a Living, published in 1900 which as can be imagined caused quite a stir in an era where women were still regarded as gentle creatures who needed the protection of a man to get on in life.

As a woman traveling alone on Titanic she soon found a small group of intellectual fellow passengers with whom she passed the time. These included Archibald Gracie, Hugh Woolner, Edward Kent, Bjorn Stffanson, James Clinch Smith and E.P. Colley. On the night of April 14th after the collision Mrs Candee Churchill persuaded her friend Edward Kent to take two items that were family heirlooms from her for safekeeping as she thought his chances of survival may be higher than her own. They were an ivory and gold miniature of her mother which is illustrated in A Night Lives On and an engraved silver brandy flask and contents which bore the Churchill family motto “Faithful but Unfortunate”.

Mrs Churchill Candee survived the disaster in Lifeboat Number 6, the same boat as Molly Brown but Edward Kent perished, his body recovered and identified as number 258. Together with his other possessions a silver flask and gold portrait miniature were recovered.

The Helen Churchill Candee archive of material is to be sold in eleven lots on September 17th. Among these items is the silver flask mentioned above together with a letter dated May 15th 1912 from Mr Kent’s sister thanking Mrs Churchill Candee for her kindness and enclosing the two items a flask and miniature that were given to her brother for safe keeping on that fateful night. This battered silver flask is a remarkable item and shows all the after effects of being involved in the trauma of most famous disaster in maritime history. Other significant pieces include letters from the Taft’s on White House Stationary to Mrs Churchill Candee regarding the disaster written May 1912, telegrams relating to Major Butt and Francis Millet April 18/19th 1912, photographs and a business card given by Mr and Mrs Colin Campbell Cooper, two passengers on the Carpathia who offered their cabin for her use. The archive is expected to attract world-wide attention and realize a five figure sum.

The guarantee group were a group of nine men who were employees of Harland and Wolff and were required to travel on the maiden voyage of ships built by H&W to help iron out any minor faults that may appear. They were led by Harland and Wolff Managing Director and one of the most famous names associated with the disaster Thomas Andrews, together with William Parr, Roderick Chisholm, Artie Frost, Robert Knight, William Campbell, Ernie Watson, Francis Parkes and Alfred Cunningham. These are names that are lesser known than other more prominent figures but were as important as any other. They were from the Electrical, Draughts, Fitting, Joinery and Plumbing departments of Harland and Wolff and all were heavily involved with the building of Titanic. All of these men are featured in the forthcoming multi million pound ITV Drama on the building of Titanic entitled “Titanic Birth of a Legend”.

Henry Aldridge and Son are delighted to offer for auction a unique archive of material relating to these brave men and their families fight for compensation after the disaster. This fascinating group of letters date from May 1912 and chart the correspondence from family members to Edward Harland, Charles Payne and other prominent company figures. It offers an insight into the trauma and financial hardship felt by dependants of those who perished and the eventual settlements, together with the help given on behalf of the families by Harland and Wolff. This is without doubt one of the most important archives ever to be offered to the market of this type. Other unique correspondence includes letters and notes from the company regarding the construction of Olympic, one from Thomas Andrews.

Henry James Beauchamp was a second class passenger onboard Titanic. He was leaving England for financial reasons to start a new life in America for financial reasons. He owed money to a number of people and thought it best to start afresh. Whilst onboard he wrote a lettercard which is in remarkable condition giving reasons for his departure. It is stamped Queenstown 3.45pm April 11th and was his last letter before he drowned, his body was never recovered.

The Arroll Gantry and 200 ton Floating Crane were integral to Titanic, without these momentous feats of engineering the creation of the Olympic Class would have been impossible. Henry Aldridge and Son are delighted to be offering for auction the original plans and diagrams for both along with other Harland and Wolff archive material. They give a breathtaking view of the cutting edge technology employed by Harland and Wolff and are integral to the whole story of Titanic and are estimated to realize a four figure sum. Other significant pieces include recovered items from Titanic and several important telegrams from major personalities on board. Further details of other significant lots consigned will be released nearer the sale date on our website.

The auction itself will be around 300 lots of Titanic, White Star and Ocean Liner Memorabilia; catalogues will be available September 1st 2005. Entries are now being invited for our April 2006 auction. Contact the auctioneers on 0044 1380 729199 or visit www.henry-aldridge.co.uk for qualified, confidential and professional advice regarding any item relating to Titanic, White Star Line, Cunard or Ocean Liner Memorabilia.

Senan Molony

Jun 28, 1998
It appears there will be NO Henry Aldridge & Co auction of Titanic, White Star and ocean liner memorabilia on the opening afternoon of the British Titanic Convention at Liverpool in April 2006.

The packed attendances at all recent Aldridge auctions at BTS conventions demonstrate the undying appeal of this event, which is surely a traditional fixture by now.

The sheer showmanship of Alan Aldridge, wielding the gavel, is already legendary.

Thus a very large number of people will be deeply disappointed to learn of what appears to be a very regrettable breach.

Can anyone tell us how this situation has arisen, which I am sure is to the benefit of no-one?

More importantly, can the situation please be repaired in the next six months?

Sanity should surely prevail in bringing willing buyers and interesting Titanic lots together, or am I missing something?

Rew, can you shed some light on this state of affairs, whose persistence would be most unfortunate?
Sep 3, 2004
Hi Senan,

Yes you are right, sadly we will not be conducting the BTS auction at the Liverpool convention in April 2006. We will however be holding our next Titanic sale in Devizes on the 29th April. We scheduled the sale on this date so as not to clash with the BTS convention.

A number of BTS members have already asked for details of accommodation in the area so we look forward to welcoming as many as possible to Devizes in April as we do for our September sales. If you can come I am sure you will love the local brew 6X, far superior to that Guinness river water you drink!!

The main reasons behind our decision were financial ones. The logistics and costs of moving the auction to Liverpool and the Adelphi represented a significant increase on those for holding a sale in Southampton. It would also have meant closing our saleroom in Devizes in the days prior to the Friday auction to move both staff and items to Liverpool. Closing the saleroom for more than one day prior to an Antique sale would also have been to the detriment of our clients who are non Titanic related and attend our other auctions throughout the year.

It was not a decision that was taken lightly but sadly there were too many hurdles for us in the end. We will still be supporting the BTS in the with contributions to the ADB. If in the future the convention were to return to Southampton and the BTS asked for our input we would be happy to offer it.

Dec 7, 2000
Oh great, the one year that attending the convention for me was even a possibility it not only moves but the auction will not be held during the convention! I might have to hold out for another year and see how things pan out in 2007!

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