An arresting photograph of victims of the Titanic being buried at sea after the 1912 disaster will sell through Henry Aldridge & Son on October 19.
The photograph shows a group of mourners gathered on the recovery ship CS Mackay Bennett, while two men drop a body over the side. It is expected to sell for up to ?�5,000 ($8,108), along with other photographs.
The shot was taken just a few days after the tragic event, which occurred on April 15, 1912, when the massive liner hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean. We can see the ship's priest, Reverend Hind, conducting the service, while bodies are piled three high in sacks on deck.
According to Andrew Aldridge, Reverend Hind presided over the funerals of 166 bodies, offering the same prayer for each:
"For as much as it has pleased Almighty God to take unto Himself the soul of our dear brother departed, we therefore commit his body to the deep to be turned to corruption; looking for the resurrection of the body (when the sea shall give up her dead) and the life of the world come, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who shall change our vile body, that it may be like unto His glorious body, according to the mighty working whereby He is able to subdue all things to Himself."
A rare image from the aftermath of the event, it was discovered when a descendant of R D "Westy" Legate, 4th Officer of the CS Mackay Bennett, took his collection to Henry Aldridge & Son for valuation.
"When we were looking through the archive, the picture jumped from the rafters. It is a chapter very little is known about," commented Andrew Aldridge.
"It has always been said that the process was dignified and organised but piles of bodies are neither of those. The bodies are piled up waist high. This picture shows the dirty side of the business."
Also appearing in the sale will be bandleader Wallace Hartley's violin, which is among the most import items of Titanic memorabilia ever to appear at auction and has recently been confirmed as genuine following an extensive authentication process.
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