London: A letter written on board the Titanic hours before the ship sank is set to go under the hammer and is expected to fetch a whopping 100,000 pounds at an auction.
The letter was written on Titanic stationery on Sunday, April 14, 1912, the day the liner collided with an iceberg, resulting in the loss of over 1500 lives.
"The letter is probably the most important Titanic letter known today as it is the only letter written on April 14, 1912, to have survived," Andrew Aldridge of Auctioneers Henry Aldridge and Son said.
"It is important because it was written on the day the Titanic collided with the iceberg and another reason is that it was written by a second class passenger and very few things belonging to second class passengers have survived," he said.
Henry Aldridge and Son, one of the world`s leading auctioneers of Titanic memorabilia, will hold the auction of Titanic collectibles in Wiltshire to commemorate the 102nd anniversary of the loss of the ship on April 26.
"Estimated at 80,000-100,000 pounds, this unique piece, complete with its envelope embossed with the White Star Burgee, was written by Second Class passenger Esther Hart, the mother of the famous survivor Eva Hart, and it is featured in Eva Hart`s biography `Shadow of the Titanic`," the Auctioneers said in a statement.
Asked if the letter could fetch more than 100,000 pounds, Andrew said, "It is conceivable. If two people want it and go for the letter, it can fetch more."
Hart, whose mother Esther had written the letter, was travelling with her parents to Canada to start a new life.
"After our very satisfying lunch, the three of us went to the library for a rest for a short time before mother left us to go to bed. She took the opportunity to write a letter to her own mother back in Chadwell Heath. It was intended that the letter would stay with the ship to be delivered on its return journey," Eva says in her biography.
"It was never mailed and survived the disaster with the two of us," she says in her book.
"The sailors say we have had a wonderful passage up to now. There has been no tempest, but God knows what it must be when there is one. This mighty expanse of water, no land in sight and the ship rolling from side to side is being wonderful," the letter says.
The letter Esther wrote was found it in the pocket of her husband`s sheepskin lined coat after they had been rescued.
"The importance of this legendary item cannot be overstated, being the only known surviving example of its type to have been written on that fateful day, surviving the sinking, and having belonged to such a well known survivor," the auctioneers said.
Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in the early hours of April 15, 1912 after colliding with an iceberg on April 14.