Titanic brandy flask sold at auction for £76,000

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Titanic brandy flaskImage source, HENRY ALDRIDGE & SON
Image caption,
A letter to the flask's owner described how it was "badly out of shape" following the disaster

A silver brandy flask given to a first-class passenger shortly before he drowned on the Titanic has sold for £76,000 at auction.

Helen Churchill Candee handed the item, engraved with her family's motto "Faithful but Unfortunate", to Edward Kent as the ship was sinking.

She told her friend: "You stand a better chance of living than I."

Mrs Churchill Candee survived but Mr Kent died along with more than 1,500 people in the disaster.

The flask was found when his body was recovered.

Image source, HENRY ALDRIDGE & SON
Image caption,
A rare silk "Hands Across the Sea" postcard written by a third-class passenger was also sold for £38,000

RMS Titanic had been four days into a week-long trans-Atlantic crossing from Southampton to New York when the supposedly "unsinkable" ship struck an iceberg on 14 April 1912.

The liner sank less than three hours later at about 02:20 on 15 April.

The "badly out of shape" flask, sold at Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes, Wiltshire, was described as "one of the most powerful and emotive three-dimensional objects from the Titanic ever offered for auction".

It had been returned to the Churchill Candee family by a relative of Mr Kent's along with a letter of explanation.

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge, who estimated it would fetch between £60,000 and £80,000, said the flask was an "incredibly powerful and poignant piece".

Image source, HENRY ALDRIDGE & SON
Image caption,
The lifeboat plaque has "lifeboat number 12" inscribed on the reverse

Another item auctioned off included a Titanic lifeboat plaque which sold for £45,000 and is believed to have once belonged to survivor Margaret Devaney.

A rare silk "Hands Across the Sea" postcard written by third-class passenger Henry Olsen was also sold for £38,000, while a letter written by the liner's steward, Richard Gedde, went for £15,000.