Letter penned a day before Titanic sank sold at UK auction
Oct. 22, 2017
LONDON (AP) — A letter written by one of the Titanic's passengers a day before the ocean liner sank has sold for 126,000 pounds ($166,000) at an auction in England.
The handwritten note, on embossed Titanic stationery, was penned by first-class passenger Alexander Oskar Holverson on April 13, 1912 — the day before the ship hit an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic, killing more than 1,500 onboard.
Holverson, a salesman, was on the Titanic with his wife, Mary. He had intended to post it to his mother when they arrived in New York.
Auction house Henry Aldridge & Son, which specializes in Titanic memorabilia, said Saturday the letter was "the most important Titanic letter we have ever auctioned" because of its content, historical context and rarity.
In the letter, addressed to "My dear Mother" and stained with saltwater marks, Holverson described the Titanic as "a giant in size and fitted up like a palatial hotel." He added: "The food and drink is excellent."
In a poignant line, he also wrote: "If all goes well we will arrive in New York Wednesday AM."
The letter, one of the last known to have been written on board by the disaster's victims, was found in Holverson's pocket notebook when his body was recovered. It was later sent to his family.
His wife survived the disaster, Aldridge said.
This version corrects the third paragraph to clarify Holverson was planning to send the letter when he arrived in New York, not that his mother was living in New York.