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        T E X T

        Source: Antiques Info Magazine
        January/February 2010

        Henry Aldridge and Son hold antiques and collectors auctions each month as well as two specialist Titanic and Ocean Liner sales in April and October. They hold the world record for a Titanic item sold at auction at 101,000 and the world record for the sale of an archive of Titanic material at 235,000.

        Olympic and Titanic

        Their last auction of Titanic and White Star Line memorabilia on 17th October contained over 270 lots ranging from 50 to 6,000. One of the highlights was a remarkable collection of material from a 3rd class passenger. Mr Malcolm Johnson (Johansson) who was 33 when the Titanic sank. Born in Sweden, he lived and worked in Minneapolis, but was returning from a home visit. He may well have travelled from Sweden on the SS Calypso, like the Asplund family whose ticket number of 347077 was only fifteen away from Malcolm's ticket numbe rof 347062. He boarded the Titanic at Southampton on April 10th 1912 and paid 7.15 shillings for his third class ticket. He was due to travel on the Adriatic but was transferred to Titanic. His family stated he had over $1,000 in dollar bills sewn into his socks.

        Malcolm Johansson died in the sinking. His body was found by the Mackay Bennet, the first of four ships hired by the White Star Line to recover the bodies of those lost. He was number 37. When recovered he was wearing his boots but his socks were missing. His brother wrote to the authorities in New York to find out what had happened to the money but nothing was proven. The authorities denied any knowledge of foul play and the mystery was never solved. His belongings were sent back to Sweden, where they remained for 97 years. Malcom was buried in Fairview Cemetery, Halifax on May 10th 1912.

        The archive contains an Omega watch which was purchased in Sweden on June 9th 1910. The watch had remained with Mr. Johansson until it was recovered along with his body by the Mackay Bennett. The hands are frozen in time at 1.37, the time difference at that time was 47 minutes. When this is taken into account, the watch reads 2.24, moments after Titanic started her final journey to the bottom of the ocean (Editor's Note: There is a continuing debate about the time of the sinking in relation to Greenwich time, ship time and New York time but there can be no doubt that this watch stopped at 1.37.)(Sold for 58,000. Henry Aldridge & Son. 17th October 2009).

        In addition there was a rare Manifest ticket for Titanic stamped April 10th 1912. This ticket was initially to be used on the Adriatic. It is stamped in ink number 7 and has suffered from water damage. This ticket would have been very important to Mr Johnson as it would have been needed to be presented to the authorities when Titanic arrived at Ellis Island (3.5 x 4.5 in. Sold for 28,000. Henry Aldridge & Son. 17th October 2009).

        Also sold was a unique studio portrait of Mr Malcolm Johansson (9 x 6in. Sold for 3,000. Henry Aldridge & Son. 17th October 2009).

        The final element is a very rare Titanic luggage ticket stamped 2951, printed on a green card stock to be given to passenger White Star Line Southampton - Cherbourg - New York. Like the Manifest ticket, this would have been of great importance to Mr. Johansson, hence why he kept it on his person as he tried to leave the ship, as without it, he would not have been able to claim his luggage or compensation for it (4.5 x 3.5 in. Sold for 59,000. Henry Aldridge & Son. 17th October 2009).

        One striking lot was an oil depicting first class survivor Eleanor Widener c1880s. Mr and Mrs George D. Widener boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg with ther son, Harry Elkins Widener. They occupied first class cabins C80/82. The Wideners are renowned for having hosted the dinner for Captain Smith on the night of the disaster and this oil paintin fetched 15,500 hammer. Other lots included a letter from first class passenger and survivor Mabel Lucie Francatelli. It was written to Alfred Hitchcock and dated March 29th 1939 and relates to the production of a film about the sinking of the Titanic. It was due to be directed by Hitchcock but was never made.

      • Henry Aldridge and Son website


      • Titanic Prints @ allposters.com
      • Best ever Titanic movie and why


      • Titanic Books: amazon.com
      • Titanic Dvds: amazon.com


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