NEW YORK, April 10 A rare original launch ticket
that could sell for up to $70,000 will be the highlight of an
auction in New York of Titanic memorabilia to mark the
centennial anniversary of the ill-fated voyage, Bonham's said on
The ticket, which has its perforated admission stub still
intact, would have allowed its holder to the launching and
christening of the Titanic. But the operator White Star Line and
builder Harland & Wolff did not christen the ship before its
maiden voyage when it sank during the night of April 14-15 after
hitting an iceberg, leading to the loss of 1,517 lives.
"The interest in the Titanic far surpasses the sinking or
wreck of any other ship, making it an historical bookmark,"
Gregg Dietrich, Bonham's Maritime consultant, said in a
statement announcing the April 15 sale.
A hand-written two-page report by Captain Arthur Henry
Rostron, who was the captain of the rescue ship Carpathia, is
expected to be another star lot that is expected to fetch as
much as $120,000.
"At 12:35 am ship's time, April 15 ... 1912, I was called by
the 1st officer in company with Marconi operator ... informed
that the White Star Liner 'Titanic' was sending out urgent
distress signals by wireless that she had struck ice & required
immediate assistance ... I immediately ordered Carpathia turned
round ... also sent wireless to Titanic saying we were coming to
his assistance," Rostron wrote.
Letters and postcards from Titanic survivors, items from the
1953 film and James Cameron's 1997 movie about the tragedy and
three framed Marconi messages saying "TITANIC HAS SUNK" will
also be included in the auction.
The sale is one many exhibitions, voyages and auctions
marking the anniversary. Guernsey's Auction House will be
selling more than 5,500 artifacts recovered from the wreck site
of the Titanic to only one bidder.
All of the items, which are owned by RMS Titanic Inc., will
be sold as a single collection. Videos of dives to the wreck, 3D
images of the sunken vessel and a survey map of the wreck site
also will be included in the Guernsey sale.
The company said on Tuesday it is in confidential
discussions with multiple parties for the purchase of the
collection. A press conference scheduled for Wednesday will be
rescheduled, it added in a statement.
A 2007 appraisal of the artifacts and certain elements of
RMS Titanic, Inc's intellectual property, which is also part of
the sale, valued it at $189 million, according to the company.
Mark Seller, chairman of Premier Exhibitions, Inc. and RMS
Titanic, Inc. said the company has spent millions of dollars and
countless hours to retrieve and restore the items.
"After all of these efforts, we have determined that the
time has come for us to transfer ownership of this collection to
a steward who is able to continue our efforts and will preserve
and honor her legacy," he said in a statement.
(Reporting by Patricia Reaney; editing by)