Titanic items set to be auctioned

On July 19 and 20 at Newport, Rhode Island’s non-profit International Yacht Restoration School, Guernsey’s will be holding a massive nautically-themed auction focusing on great ocean liners, including the famed Titanic, majestic sailing ships and other maritime-related treasures.

While a number of lots in the sale will be coming directly from IYRS, several important private collections constitute the bulk of items to be sold. These include the former collection of noted maritime author Mark D. Warren, the Sam Taylor and George McMath collections, and items from the collection of the late accomplished wreck diver, Bart Malone. The categories of items in the sale will include Marine Art, rare Artifacts and Ephemera, and fine Ship Models.

Of great interest to many collectors and enthusiasts will undoubtedly be Ella White’s walking stick (pictured). A Titanic survivor, Mrs. White made her way during the chaos of that fateful April 15, 1912 evening into a lifeboat carrying her black enameled walking stick complete with an amber-colored bakelite, battery-illuminated crown. Walter Lord, in his landmark book A Night to Remember, wrote “Mrs. J. Stuart (Ella) White didn’t help row No. 8, but she appointed herself a sort of signalman. She had a cane with a built-in electric light, and during most of the night she waved it fiercely about…” Attempting to signal rescue ships, Mrs. White was a star witness in court hearings that followed where newspapers recounted her tale of the illuminated walking stick (cane). Remarkably, that walking stick remained with her family which now, more than a century later, has consigned it to Guernsey’s!

Though the Titanic is clearly the most fabled of all ocean liners, this auction also features iconic objects from a wide array of other noteworthy ships including the Lusitania, the Normandie, the SS United States, and the ill-fated Empress of Ireland and Andrea Doria. 99 percent of the items in the auction, including the bronze quarter deck bell from the Normandie, will be sold without minimum reserve.

Rare posters, menus and ships’ logs constitute some of the ephemera in the event, while beautiful oil paintings by such luminaries as James Buttersworth and Antonio Jacobsen head the lineup of featured artists. Nearly one hundred hand-crafted ship models will be sold ranging from massive, cased builder’s steamship models, elegant America’s Cup sail boat models onto exquisite “extreme miniature models” (1/16″ – 1′) built by the legendary late English builder Donald McNarry and American craftsman Lloyd McCaffery. Widely sought after, these latter models are coming from the IYRS collection with proceeds going to the School internationally known for keeping alive centuries’ old boat building skills.

Although many choose to bid at auction today via the internet (this event will be featured on both LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com), this Guernsey’s event will be conducted within IYRS’ classic boatbuilding facilities only yards from magnificent Newport Harbor.


The auction will be held in the Restoration Hall on the Campus of the International Yacht Restoration School at 449 Thames Street in Newport, RI 02840.