Titanic letter led collection steams to $100,570 at Philip Weiss Auctions
Letters from returning honeymooners John & Nelle Pillsbury Snyder outdid expectations at the weekend
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Monday 24 October 2011
As we noted once more last week, many collectors specialise in chasing down collectibles connected with the Titanic - perhaps the most famous catastrophic accident ever known - and they had a great opportunity over the weekend as a fascinating collection led by two letters from a Titanic survivor concerning the voyage hit the auction block at Philip Weiss.
The collection hails directly from a family member of John & Nelle Pillsbury Snyder who were rescued when the Titanic sunk.
It was sold as part of a Transportation, Aviation, Maritime, Military & Posters auction.
The letter on Titanic stationary is dated April 10, 1912, (the day the ship sailed) and sent by John Snyder telling of his contentment and enjoyment of cigars which he had been sent. The couple were returning from their honeymoon.
The collection also included photos of the Snyders, another letter dated April 18th which tells of the confusion from news sources and the White Star Line at the time of the sinking.
"Here we are again both safe and sound" wrote John Snyder to his father, "I can only tell you that I have a mighty fine wife and she is the one you must thank - besides our Lord" and later "We were both asleep when the boat hit.
"... When we reached the top deck only a few people were about and we all were told to go down & put on our life belts"...
The collection had been expected to achieve $50,000-75,000, but topped even this to reach $100,570. Phil Weiss told us:
"It is a rare opportunity to see an fabulous archive like this come 'fresh' to the market. The key to the success of this and any sale of this type is really the fact that this material was never offered for sale before. The other big factor in the success was having great advance publicity building up to the auction."
A portrait of the Titanic's Captain Edward Smith in his wife's locket also went under the hammer, and sold for $3,500 against a listing of $1,500 to $2,500.
There are no longer any survivors of the Titanic - a cause for regret for the large number of collectors who specialise in collecting memorabilia from the voyage, keeping its prices high. Millvina Dean was the last to die, having been an infant during the Titanic's only voyage.
She had no memory of the voyage, but it shaped her life in that her father died in the tragedy and there were endless Titanic conventions which she was always being asked to attend.
If you are looking for a connection with the Titanic, you may well be interested in this example ofwhich we currently have available.
Check out our Top Five sea-rescued collectibles on our blog.
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Images: Philip Weiss