A deckchair was bought for £100,000 on Saturday. This is unlikely to adorn any garden, being a Nantucket wooden chair that sat on the first class promenade deck when the luxury liner Titanic hit an iceberg on its maiden Atlantic voyage in 1912. The chair was sold at the Devizes auction house Henry Aldridge and Son to an unnamed UK-based collector who has a passion for buying pieces of historic importance, auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said. He added that he was "very very pleased" with the price.
Aldridge described the chair, which was salvaged from the ocean by a team sent to recover bodies after the Titanic sank, as "one the rarest types of Titanic collectable." Around 1,500 people died when the Titanic sank after striking an iceberg on April 14 1912 during its ill-fated voyage to New York from Southampton.
The deckchair was found bobbing on the surface of the Atlantic by the crew of the Mackay-Bennett, who were sent to recover the bodies of the victims after the tragedy. The ship's log records six or seven deckchairs being picked up and taken back to port in Halifax, Nova Scotia. One was given by a crew member to Captain Julien Lemarteleur, who had previously worked on board the Mackay-Bennett.
It has since been owned for 15 years by an English Titanic collector who kept it by a large window overlooking the sea at his home on the south coast. The seller had never sat on it due to its fragile state and instead used it as a display item. The fragile chair, which was professionally but sympathetically conserved several years ago, had a sale estimate of £70,000 to £80,000."