19 Apr 2009

Survivor's Titanic memento sold - and to be returned

3:58 pm on 19 April 2009

Memorabilia from the Titanic, including a lot from the ship's last living survivor, raised thousands at auction.

The auction in Devizes, Wiltshire, featured memorabilia belonging to 97-year-old Millvina Dean.

She was lowered to safety from the deck of the sinking cruise liner as a two-month-old baby.

She now faces monthly bills of 3,000 stg at her Southampton nursing home and sold a canvas bag from her rescue which raised 1,500 stg.

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said a young man from London bought the bag, paid the money and then said he wanted it returned to Ms Dean.

Ms Dean's father perished in the icy waters of the north Atlantic, one of 1,517 to die when the ship sank in 1912.

Also included in the sale at Henry Aldridge & Son auctioneers was a flask another passenger on the ill-fated ship used to give hot milk to his wife and two daughters.

This lot sold for 37,500 stg.

A chunky key to a door on the ship's E deck was sold for just under 60,000 stg - and was the most expensive item sold.

A letter from a Henry Wilde on Titanic notepaper went for 27,000 stg, and another by passenger Adolf Saalfeld, reached almost 28,000 stg.

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said the sale had gone well and raised a very substantial sum.