Letter from the Titanic sold at an auction in london 2004
LONDON - A letter written by a passenger on the Titanic before it set sail on its tragic voyage across the Atlantic - and giving an account of a near collision even before it left England - sold for us dllar 24,600 at auction Wednesday.
The price, double the estimate, was reached during a bidding war by six people bidding by telephone.
The short letter, still in its envelope, bore a penny stamp.
Postmarked three days before the liner struck an iceberg and sank April 15, 1912, the letter was written April 10 by first-class passenger Alice Lenox-Conyngham, from County Down, Ireland.
She sailed on the first leg of the voyage - from Southampton in southern England to Cherbourg in northern France, where passengers from the Continent boarded. The ship then went to Ireland before setting out cross the ocean.
The note, written to a nephew in Cambridge, Alan Duff, is on paper with the White Star Line RMS Titanic letterhead.
It was part of the last batch of mail that left the ship before it set out for New York.
"I am told this is the Titanic's maiden voyage, so I think I must use some of its paper," Lenox-Conyngham began her letter.
She said the ship had narrowly avoided a collision even before it left Southampton port. "There was nearly an accident just as we started, but we did not know till it was nearly over," she wrote.
She describes the Titanic in her sometimes shaky handwriting as a "vast place - five decks, immense drawing rooms, dining rooms and swimming baths and gymnasium - and a band playing."
During the auction at Tennants of Leyburn in North Yorkshire, the letter was bought over the phone by a bidder identified only as Mr. Fitzgerald. Officials said he plans to hang it on a wall of the pub he owns in the Dublin area.
The note was found by its unsuspecting owner hidden away in an old box of letters.