Henry Aldridge Titanic Auction Devizes April 29th 2006


Sep 3, 2004
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Hi Everyone,

I have just completed our press release for our Titanic sale here in Devizes in April and thought you would be interested to read it. The 54 page fully illustrated catalogue is now available at £15.

Feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions at andrew@henry-aldridge.co.uk or you can visit our website on www.henry-aldridge.co.uk.

Best Wishes

Andrew Aldridge


HENRY ALDRIDGE & SON

THE DEVIZES AUCTIONEERS

UNIT 1 BATH ROAD BUSINESS CENTRE,
BATH ROAD, DEVIZES, WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND SN10 1XA
TEL:01380 729199 FAX:01380 730073
www.henry-aldridge.co.uk


RMS Titanic DEVIZES APRIL 29TH 2006

PRE SALE PRESS RELEASE

Henry Aldridge and Son of Devizes, Wiltshire, England are the leading auctioneers of Titanic and White Star Line memorabilia in the world. Following the success of their September 17th 2005 sale, their latest sale on April 29th promises to exceed the records posted in the previous auction.

The Titanic sank over 90 years ago with great loss of life but still retains a place in the hearts of many people partly due to the stories of courage, heroism and sacrifice that were shown by so many of those on board and who helped to design and build the ship.

Walter Lord’s A Night to Remember is widely regarded as one of the definitive accounts of the Titanic and its sequel A Night Lives On is equally highly thought of. One passenger who is featured in both is the American authoress Helen Churchill Candee. Henry Aldridge and Son are offering Part Two of one of the most significant Titanic related passenger archives to be offered in recent years.

Helen Chuchill Candee was a First Class Passenger on board Titanic; this was not her only claim to fame though. She was a champion of woman’s rights at the time, a nurse during World War One, a renowned travel correspondent and a prolific authoress in her own right. Mrs Churchill Candee booked passage on Titanic because her son had been badly injured in an accident in the USA and Titanic was the quickest way of getting home. Helen was a highly respected member of American society counting numerous members of the ruling classes and intelligencia as close friends. She was a member of the “Coterie†group in First Class; other members included Archibald Gracie, Hugh Woolner and Edward Kent. Lot 341 is a 19th century gilt portrait miniature of Helen’s mother Mary Churchill Hungerford. When Helen realized that Titanic was doomed she persuaded her friend Edward Kent to take this miniature and a silver hip flask for safekeeping as she did not have any pockets. Helen survived the sinking in Lifeboat Number 6, having broken her ankle getting into the lifeboat. Edward Kent’s body was recovered and his possessions were sent to his sister Charlotte, these included the miniature and silver flask. The flask was sold in our September 2005 sale for over £30000. Charlotte Kent sent both items back to Helen and included in the sale of the miniature is a letter written to Helen on May 4th 1912 from Miss Kent. “I was sitting down to tell you your treasures are safe, my cousin arrived from Halifax on Friday and yesterday told me that the miniature and flask and other items precious to us are in the safety deposit box hereâ€Â, the locket is estimated at between £20000-£25000. The archive also includes numerous letters and telegrams relating to Helen and her experiences after the sinking. Also offered is a unique 36 page hand written account of the disaster in green ink which gives the reader a fascinating first person glimpse into that fateful week of April 1912. Pages 24 and 25 of the text describe the events leading upto Helen handing over the miniature and flask to Edward Kent.

“Up the sweep of the wide stairway from the staterooms (advance) climbed slowly a solid procession of ship’s passengers, wordless, orderly, (old) marked with majesty. The dress (told) declared the tragedy. On every man and woman’s body was tied the (bulky) sinister white lifebelt, the last resonsce (sic) at sea. Some were over women’s evening gowns, some over men’s bathrobes, and above each was a pale face of courage. (If) The crowd looked strangely like dancers in a fancy dress ball. The Dance of Death to be the next number. Is this Captain’s orders? Asked Woolner. “Yes, Captain’s ordersâ€Â.

Perhaps the last act of my steward’s life was to equip us three with lifebelts. Kent was present too already supplied. “I came to make sure you were not sleepingâ€Â.

“Take these for me, you know we women have no pocketsâ€Â. I held out to him a silver flask and a miniature of my mother. But Kent drew back his hands; angered I commanded, “Take themâ€Â. His eyes appealed to mine. I (knew then) read them (what he meant). And I remembered his words just before dinner that night. But he took my treasures (though silently) against his (prophetic) soul’s prophecy and slipped out of the cabin (and disappeared). We never saw him againâ€Â.

But the Candee Churchill archive is only a small section of the auction; the sale itself consists of over 370 lots. Edwina Troutt was a second-class passenger who was born in Bath, England. Having spent five years working in America, she returned home in 1911, however her sister was living in the US and later that year fell pregnant. Edwina felt she needed to be by her side and booked passage to America on the Oceanic. Because of the coal strikes of April 1912, she was transferred to Titanic as a second-class passenger. On April 11th, she wrote a letter which is lot number 362 in the auction to her friend Mrs Clarke. On Titanic stationary talking in great detail about the ship; she labels it a “Floating Palaceâ€Â. Mrs Troutt survived the sinking but it took her many months to recover from the emotional stress she endured. She lived to the age of 100 and in her 99th year completed her 10th and final Atlantic crossing, the letter written onboard is estimated at £10000-£12000. Another letter written onboard being sold was written by 1st class passenger Stanley May, again on the 11th April 1912. This letter again calls the ship a “Floating Palace†and mentions the near miss with the liner “New York†as the Titanic left Southampton Water on the 10th April. An interesting aspect to this lot is the mention of a book of postcards that was purchased by Mr May onboard Titanic, this booklet was sold several years ago by Henry Aldridge for £10000.

One of the most emotive lots going under the hammer on April 29th is a gold-filled hunter pocket watch. The watch was the personal property of First Class Passenger Austin Partner, a highflying stockbroker from Surrey. Mr Partner drowned in the sinking but his body and all of his possessions were returned to his family. Amongst these items was this pocket watch, the hands of which are poignantly frozen at 2.25, the movement rusted and corroded by its immersion in the sea shortly after Titanic fell beneath the waves. The estimate on this lot is £14000-£16000. Another poignant item is a postcard written by a second-class passenger onboard Titanic William Angle. William was in England visiting relatives and the postcard is addressed to Nellie Angle at the Macclesfield Arms Hotel in Macclesfield. He was traveling with his wife Florence who survived the sinking. The postcard carries the rarer Transatlantic Postmark 7 denoting it was franked in Titanic’s postroom and suggests that Nellie keep the card as a souvenir of the maiden voyage of Titanic, the estimate on this postcard is £4000-£6000.

The most visually impressive of all of the lots is without doubt a stunning first generation 4ins x 3ins photograph of Titanic and Olympic together in Belfast, taken on 6th March 1912. Olympic, Titanic’s sister was brought back to Harland and Wolff due to her losing a propeller blade on February 24th 1912. This resulted in a delay in work on Titanic, as work was transferred to Olympic, this decision was later to have tragic consequences six weeks later. The photo itself has a handwritten inscription written by Emerson Herdman, uncle of Sir Ernest Herdman the longest serving Chairman of the Belfast Harbour Commission. It reads “Olympic on right alongside floating crane and wharf after being floated out of dry dock. Titanic on left having floated into dry dock all being done on the one tide 6-3-12†The estimate on this photograph is £3000-£5000.

The auction also contains a rare plan of First Class accommodation from Titanic estimated at £4000-£6000 and the second part of the Guarantee Group archive. 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 were featured in the recent multi million pound ITV/Granada Drama on the building of Titanic entitled “Titanic Birth of a Legendâ€Â. The archive contains unique and very important correspondence relating to compensation payments to the families of the group and the direct aftermath of the disaster. It also shows Harland and Wolff’s efforts on behalf of their lost employees dependants.

The sale also contains important lots from Titanic passengers and crew including Period personal ephemera and photographs from Titanic passengers and crew Inc Harold Lowe, Herbert Pitman, Charles Lightoller, Archibald Gracie, Francis Millet, Frank Morris, Edward Brown, Victoria Chaudonson and a letter written by William Stead only 8 weeks prior to the sinking. Publicity material for Titanic, White Star Line Ceramics, Plated Wares, Ephemera and general Lusitania, Cunard and Ocean Liner Items.

Entries have now closed for this sale but we are inviting them for our September 2006 auction. The principal contents of this auction will also be on exhibition at Titanic Made in Belfast at Belfast City Hall from April 15th – April 22nd. Contact the auctioneers on 0044 1380 729199 or view the sale online at 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.
 
Sep 3, 2004
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Hi All,

I thought you would be interested in the press release for the April 29th sale.

Kind Regards

Andrew Aldridge

HENRY ALDRIDGE & SON

THE DEVIZES AUCTIONEERS

UNIT 1 BATH ROAD BUSINESS CENTRE,
BATH ROAD, DEVIZES, WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND SN10 1XA
TEL:01380 729199 FAX:01380 730073
www.henry-aldridge.co.uk


RMS Titanic Auction Devizes April 29th 2006
Post Sale Press Release



A very hectic month came to a record breaking finale when Henry Aldridge and Son, the worlds leading auctioneers of Titanic memorabilia held their April 29th sale in Devizes. After taking over 250 items from the auction on exhibition prior to the regular viewings at the request of Belfast City Council to the “Made in Belfast” event. The auctioneers were delighted in the response received, over 20000 people viewed the lots on show in the fortnight preceding the auction.

High profile media coverage of the sale ensured a very good turnout and the auctioneers were not disappointed. With television coverage ranging from local news to the NBC Today programme in the USA running a feature piece on the morning of the auction. Reports of the sale were read all over the world from Pravda in Russia to newspapers in Australia and India. A packed saleroom and seven telephone lines led to several record breaking prices at the auction which without doubt offered some of the most important fresh to the market artifacts relating to the great ship 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. 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 Steffanson, 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 might be higher than her own. One of these items was gold portrait miniature of her mother, which is illustrated in A Night Lives On, this together with a unique 36 page handwritten account of Mrs Churchill Candee’s time on Titanic and the weeks leading upto the voyage were the two highest profile items in the auction. Both sold for record breaking figures, the locket realized a staggering £57000 selling to a private collector from the USA on the telephone and the manuscript to a collector from Europe for £48000.

But there were 368 other lots in the auction; the next highest price was for a stunning lettercard written onboard the Titanic on the morning of April 11th as she arrived in Queenstown by First Class Passenger Stanley May. It described the ship in great detail as well as the near collision as Titanic left Southampton with the liner New York, it sold to a collector from the UK in the room for £22000. Another letter written onboard was from Second Class Passenger Edwina Troutt, although not in superb condition, it had good content and sold for just above top estimate at £15000. Other significant pieces included a single page from an Edwardian scrap album. The interest in this was in the fact that it showed Collapsible A, which was the last lifeboat to be recovered on the 13th May 1912 nearly a month after the sinking. A very graphic first person description of the recovery accompanied the photos and it sold for £9000 to a private collector in the room. There is a premium in the value for items that were onboard Titanic, however rare pre maiden voyage material is also heavily in demand. One lot in particular was a First Class Plan of Accommodation for the ship, this example in excellent condition, remarkable considering it was made from a form of tissue paper sold for £11000 against an estimate of £6000-£8000. Provenance is one of the biggest factors when determining the value of certain items of Titanic memorabilia and one particular lot offered had it in abundance. A small oak picture frame measuring little more than 10ins made from Wreckwood of the Titanic but sold complete with the original letter from the crewman who recovered it onboard the Minia, Bertram King. The Minia was one of the cable laying ships that was charted by the White Star Line to recover bodies after the sinking and Mr King made this driftwood into a small picture frame. What he would never have imagined is that over 90 years later it would be sold to a collector for £12500.

William Angle was a second class passenger traveling back to the USA with his wife Florence; he decided to send a postcard from the ship in which the last line hauntingly says, “Keep this postcard of the maiden voyage of the Titanic as a souvenir”. The card was also postmarked in the onboard post office on Titanic and carried the all important Transatlantic Postmark 7 franking; it sold for a top estimate £7000 to a collector in the room. Images of the Titanic are unusual and very valuable when they are first generation. Lot 358 was a 4ins x 3ins image of Titanic and Olympic together at Harland and Wolff taken on March 6th 1912 by Emerson Herdman, the uncle of Ernest Herdman the longest ever serving Chairman of Belfast Harbour Commission. Against fierce bidding in the room and on the telephone it sold for £7000.

The next auction of Titanic and White Star Line memorabilia is on September 30th and entries are invited until July 30th. 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.

[Moderator's note: This post was posted in another thread started today, but has been moved to the pre-existing one on the same subject. JDT]
 
Sep 3, 2004
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My pleasure Jason, now the planning starts for the September 29th sale! There are some great pieces consigned already, I will post details in time prior to the auction
 

Jason D. Tiller

Moderator
Member
Dec 3, 2000
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I look forward to seeing the list, Andrew.

Best regards,

Jason
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