Letter written on board Titanic sold for record-breaking €140,000

Passenger Alexander Oskar Holverson was intending to post the letter to his mother in New York

Letter written on board Titanic sold for record-breaking €140,000

Image: Henry Aldridge And Son auctioneers via Twitter

One of the last-known letters written on board the Titanic has sold at auction for a record-breaking £126,000 (€140,000).

The handwritten note was penned on 13 April 1912 - a day before the ship hit an iceberg and sank in a tragedy that killed more than 1,500 people.

It was written on embossed Titanic stationery by first-class passenger Alexander Oskar Holverson, who was intending to post it to his mother in New York.

The salesman had boarded the Titanic in Southampton with his wife Mary, who survived the disaster.

She never remarried - and according to Encyclopaedia Titanica, she was buried with her husband in New York after dying of kidney failure in 1918 at the age of 41.

In the letter, he says the couple "had good weather while we were in London", adding that England was "quite green and nice".

Describing the Titanic as "a palatial hotel", Mr Holverson writes: "The food and music is excellent and so far we have had very good weather.

"If all goes well we will arrive in New York (on) Wednesday".

The Minnesota-born passenger also shared tales of rubbing shoulders with one of the ship's most famous passengers - a man who would also die on board the doomed liner.

"John Jacob Astor is on this ship," he said of the American financier and real-estate investor, who was one of the world's richest men at the time.

"He looks like any other human being even though he has millions of money. They sit out on deck with the rest of us."

The letter, written on three of its four pages, was discovered in Mr Holverson's pocket notebook when his body was recovered.

The acid-rich paper remained legible despite being stained by salt water.
After the disaster, the letter was received by Mr Holverson's mother and remained in the family.

It had a reserve price of €67,000 to €90,000 during an auction of Titanic memorabilia at Henry Aldridge & Son in Wiltshire on Saturday.

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge described the item as "exceptional on several levels including content, historical context and rarity".

He added: "I'm delighted with the new world record for the Titanic letter.

"It reflects its status as the most important Titanic letter that we have ever auctioned."

A set of rusty locker keys that belonged to a Titanic cabin steward also sold at the auction for €85,000.

In April 2014, the last letter written on the ship fetched €133,000 after being auctioned by Henry Aldridge & Son.

Survivors Esther Hart and her seven-year-old daughter Eva penned the note just eight hours before the ship hit the iceberg.