28 Feb 2012
Almost exactly 100 years after the fateful RMS Titanic disaster, Bonhams will be selling several significant pieces of memorabilia related to RMS Carpathia, the ship that came to the Titanic's rescue. The items will be sold in The Marine Sale, which takes place on 3 April 2012. The RMS Titanic hit an iceberg on 14 April 1912 resulting in the death of 1,157 passengers.
On the night of 14/15 April 1912, RMS Carpathia was four days out of New York and bound for Europe, under the command of Captain Arthur Rostron. Shortly after midnight, Carpathia's radio operator Harold Cottam picked up a distress call fromb RMS Titanic. On her maiden voyage, she had struck an iceberg and was severely damaged. Cottam woke Captain Rostron, who, having gathered that the Titanic was 58 miles away, ordered top speed and raced through the night towards the stricken liner. The Titanic sank at 2.20am on 15 April 1912 and RMS Carpathia arrived two hours later in time to rescue its survivors. At 8.50am, having satisfied himself that there was no one else to pick up, Rostron turned Carpathia towards New York, where it arrived, on the evening of 18 April.
On arrival, the Officers and Crew were awarded medals to commemorate the rescue. One of these medals is to be offered in this sale, estimated at £2,000 – 3,000. Not attributed to a particular crew member, it is inscribed on the reverse: Presented to the Captain Officers and Crew of RMS Carpathia in recognition of gallant and heroic service/ From the Survivors of the SS Titanic/ April 15th 1912 Dieges & Clust NY.
A Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society Presentation Certificate, awarded to Ernest GF Brown, Purser on the RMS Carpathia, in recognition of saving life at sea, has been estimated at £3,000 – 5,000; while a painting of The Cunard liner Carpathia outward bound from Liverpool in the moonlight by Frank Henry Mason (British, 1875-1965) has attracted a pre-sale estimate of £3,000 – 5,000.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and appraisal services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com