A letter written a day before the Titanic sank by one of the disaster’s victims is expected to fetch up to £80,000 at auction.
The handwritten note, on oversized embossed Titanic stationery, was penned on April 13 1912.
It was written by First Class passenger Alexander Oskar Holverson, who intended to post it to his mother in New York.
Mr Holverson, a salesman, was one of more than 1,500 passengers and crew who died when the Titanic struck an iceberg on April 14.
The letter, written on three of its four pages, was found in Mr Holverson’s pocket notebook when his body was recovered.
Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge described it as ‘the most important letter written on board Titanic to ever come to market’.
‘It is exceptional on several levels including content, historical context and rarity,’ Mr Aldridge said.
‘If this letter were virtually blank, it would still rank amongst the most desirable. Yet, the content takes it to another level.
‘This letter is amongst the most iconic written on board the Titanic that we have ever seen.
‘It is oversized, hand written on Titanic letterhead by a victim just a day before the ship hit the iceberg, mentions the food, the music and the elite on board, contains an ominous message with regards to the fate of the ship, was carried by its author into the Atlantic and, thence, on to the body recovery ship and shows evidence of its submersion in salt water.
‘As such it ranks as one of the most important items of ephemera from Titanic that have ever been offered for auction, a truly world class example of Titanic memorabilia.’
The letter is one of the last known to have survived the sinking and the last known letter written on board by a victim.
It was received by Mr Holverson’s mother after the ship sank and remained in his family.
Stains on the paper show the reaction of the acid-rich paper when it was exposed to the salt water of the North Atlantic.
Mr Holverson, who was on board the ship with wife Mary Alice, wrote: “This boat is giant in size and fitted up like a palacial hotel
‘If all goes well we will arrive in New York Wednesday A.M. I am sending you a postcard of the ship and also a book of postcards showing the inside.’
The couple had been on holiday in Buenos Aires before they arrived in Southampton, where they boarded the doomed Titanic.
Mrs Holverson was rescued but her husband did not survive. His body was the 38th to be recovered by the CS Mackay-Bennett.
His pocket book, including the letter, and other personal effects were sent to his family.
Mr Holverson’s body was and buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in New York.
The letter will be sold by Henry Aldridge and Sons in Devizes, Wiltshire, on October 21.