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Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 24 July, 2014

Letter written on the day the Titanic sank sells for €145,000

Esther Hart, who wrote the letter, survived that day.

A LETTER WRITTEN in April 1912 by Esther Hart, a passenger on the Titanic, has sold for €145,000 (£119,000)

Hart wrote home about her journey to a new life.

“The sailors say we have had a wonderful passage up to now,” said Hart.

Hours later the ship struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank, killing more than 1,500 people.

Hart survived and so did the letter.  The price tag paid by an unknown bidder breaks the previous record for a Titanic-related letter, which had stood at £94,000, according to the auctioneers.

Britain Titanic Letter

Source: AP

The handwritten note on White Star Line notepaper was tucked inside the pocket of a sheepskin coat Hart’s husband Benjamin gave her as he put Esther and their daughter Eva in a lifeboat.

The family had been traveling from England to Canada, where they planned to settle.

The letter includes a postscript from Eva Hart, then aged 7: “Heaps of love and kisses to all from Eva.”

Britain Titanic Letter

Part of a letter written by Esther Hart and her seven-year-old daughter Eva as they sailed aboard RMS Titanic in April 1912.

Source: AP

Benjamin Hart was among passengers and crew killed when the ship sank. Esther and Eva were rescued, along with some 700 others.

Esther Hart died in 1928. Eva Hart, who died in 1996, became a prominent Titanic survivor, critical of attempts to salvage the ship, which she considered a mass grave.

She described the voyage and her mother’s letter, in an autobiography, “Shadow of the Titanic.”

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said the letter was “quite simply the jewel in the crown of Titanic manuscript ephemera.”

Fascination with the Titanic remains strong a century after the disaster, and prices for memorabilia from the ship have soared in recent years.

In October, a violin believed to have been played as the doomed vessel sank sold for more than 1 million pounds.

Britain Titanic Letter

Source: AP

Additional reporting by AFP

Read: Long-lost Titanic violin sold at auction for €1 million>

Extract: ‘They tried to keep us down on the steerage deck as Titanic sank’>

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