PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A Titanic survivor’s walking stick, with an electric light she used to signal for help from a lifeboat, is one of a large number of maritime items that will be for auction in Rhode Island up. Guernsey’s auction house is holding the auction at the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport on July 19 and 20. Guernsey’s President Arlan Ettinger described Ella White’s cane among the most extraordinary what to have survived the sinking. The walking stick was consigned to Guernsey by the Williams family in Milford, Connecticut.
Brad Williams said his grandmother was White’s niece, and looked after her affairs before she died in 1942 at the age of 85, took ownership of the walking stick then. It was passed on to Williams’ mother, to him then. Williams, a 59-year-old cane collector, kept it in an umbrella stand with about 35 other canes. He said he wants it to visit a home where it will be better displayed and use the proceeds for his children.
It’s obviously the most well-known cane in the collection, he said. This 2019 photo provided by Guernsey’s Auction House shows a walking cane that was owned by Titanic survivor Ella White. The cane, with a built-in electric light that she used to sign from a lifeboat, on July 19 and 20 is one of several maritime items that will be up for auction, 2019, in Newport, R.I. Williams, who operates a fishing boat repair business in Bridgeport, Connecticut. 500,000, though Ettinger said it is rather hard to forecast what it might fetch because it’s such an unprecedented artifact.
On the night of April 14, 1912, the British liner RMS Titanic collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic and started sinking. The dispatch went under two hours and 40 minutes later and more than 1,500 people died. In Walter Lord’s book about the Titanic and in investigative hearings following the sinking, it’s documented that White appointed herself as a signalman for the lifeboats 8, waving her walking stick about. Guernsey will have other Titanic items on the market, however the walking stay is clearly the most noteworthy item and the auction house has verified its authenticity, Ettinger said.
It’s a black-enameled stick to an amber-colored Bakelite and battery-illuminated crown. Williams said it lights up still. It’s the first auction, the brand-new York-based auction house has held in Newport since 1988. The auction preview starts July 18 at the yacht restoration school, which prepares students for careers in technology and the marine trades.
This 2019 picture provided by Guernsey’s Auction House shows a walking cane that was possessed by Titanic survivor Ella White. The cane, with a built-in electric light that she used to sign from a lifeboat, is one of several maritime items that will be up for auction on July 19 and 20, 2019, in Newport, R.I.
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