Precious Metals

Gold watch for Titanic rescuer on auction block

An engraved gold Tiffany & Co. gold watch presented to the captain of the ship that rescued survivors from the RMS Titanic crosses the auction block Oct. 20 at Henry Aldridge & Son, Auctioneers & Valuers, in Great Britain.

The 18-karat gold watch carries an estimate in U.S. dollars of $39,123 to $65,205.

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The watch was presented to Capt. Sir Arthur Henry Rostron, captain of the RMS Carpathia, which arrived at the scene within hours of the Titanic's sinking after the Titanic struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. on April 14, 1912; the liner snk a few hours later. The disaster claimed the lives of more than 1,500 people, with 705 survivors rescued by the Carthpahia's crew.

Rostron was formally presented the watch during a May 1912 luncheon in New York City hosted at the Astor mansion by Madeleine Force Astor, who was one of the survivors rescued on April 15, 1912. Mrs. Astor’s husband, American businessman and real estate mogul John Jacob Astor IV, perished in the Titanic’s sinking. Mrs. Astor was joined in the watch presentation by fellow Titanic survivors Marian Longstreth Thayer and Eleanor Elkins Widener, whose husbands, Pennsylvania Railroad executive John B. Thayer and Philadelphia Traction Co. executive George Widener, also died in the marine disaster.

The watch is engraved inside Presented to / Captain Rostron / with the heartfelt gratitude / and appreciation of / three survivors of the Titanic / April 15th 1912/ Mrs. John B. Thayer / Mrs. John Jacob Astor / Mrs. George D. Widener.

The watch is also engraved on the back with Rostron’s monogram AHR.

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