One of the bronze medals presented to the crew of RMS Carpathia, following their heroic rescue of 705 survivors of the stricken Titanic on April 15 1912, is to be sold at Bonhams as part of The Marine Sale on 28 September 2010. Estimated at £2,000 – 4,000, the medal is inscribed: Presented to the Captain Officers and Crew of RMS Carpathia in recognition of gallant and heroic service From the Survivors of the SS Titanic April 15th 1912.
RMS Carpathia was the first ship to reach the survivor’s lifeboats, having received an emergency transmission from the Titanic when it hit an iceberg at 11.40pm on April 14 1912. Diverted from her passage, RMS Carpathia came to the rescue of 705 passengers and took them to safety in New York. On arrival, the Officers and Crew were presented with medals by one of the saved First Class passengers, Margaret (Molly) Brown, to commemorate the rescue: Captain Rostron received a Gold medal and silver cup, the Officers received silver medals, and the Crew received bronze.
Another Titanic-related lot is a Mariner’s Certificate of Discharge book, which charts the nautical career of James Easson between 1887 and 1912. The book, which includes the signature of Captain Edward Smith of RMS Baltic, shows Easson’s rise from a scullion on the Baltic to a cook on RMS Carpathia. It has attracted a pre-sale estimate of £1,000 – 1,500.
Highlights of The Marine Sale also include a hand-drawn invasion landing plan for the British forces at the beginning of the Crimean war (£300 – 500); as well as one of the largest scrimshaw collections to come to the market in recent years, which features a massive English scrimshaw whale’s tooth (estimate £8,000 – 12,000) and a rare love token folding comb (estimate £4,000 – 6,000).