Titanic wreckage cross sells for £10k at auction

wooden cross Image copyright Henry Aldridge & Son
Image caption The cross was made from oak taken from the Titanic wreckage

A wooden cross made from oak taken from the wreckage of the Titanic has sold at auction for £10,000.

The cross was made by Samuel Smith, one of the crew on board the S.S. Minia which recovered the bodies after the Titanic sank on 15 April, 1912.

Mr Smith made the cross out of wreck wood in honour of the more than 1,500 passengers and crew who died.

Expected to fetch up to £18,000, it sold for £2,000 under its lower estimate at auction in Wiltshire.

Image copyright Henry Aldridge & Son
Image caption Samuel Smith (front second left) on board the S.S. Minia

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said the cross, which has remained in his family ever since, was a "powerful and emotive" piece of memorabilia.

"It was created by Samuel Smith, who was a joiner on the Minia, one of the ships that was given the unenviable task of collecting the bodies of those lost in the disaster and either burying them at sea or returning them to Halifax, Nova Scotia," he said.

"In the course of this the crew picked up flotsam and jetsam, and this cross was made from some of that wreck wood by Mr Smith as a mark of respect to those lost."

The other Titanic items sold alongside the cross included a signed letter of provenance, photographs, documents and Mr Smith's woodworking tools, as well as a certificate of discharge documenting his marine career.

The items were sold through a direct descendant of Mr Smith.

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