Infamous ‘Titanic’ Survivor’s Letter up for Auction

Lucy and Cosmo Duff-Gordon were accused of bribing their lifeboat's crew not to return and save others.

The letter is expected to fetch $6,000 at auction. Photo: RR Auction

A letter written by one of the most infamous survivors of the Titanic’s ill-fated journey in 1912 will hit the auction block next week.

Traveling in first class, the British aristocrat Lucy Duff-Gordon and her husband Cosmo Duff-Gordon survived the disaster. However, they were subsequently accused of bribing crew members not to return to the stricken vessel to rescue others. Their 40-man lifeboat contained only 12 passengers, seven of whom were crew members.

After details of Duff-Gordon’s highly contentious escape emerged, she and her husband were derided by the British tabloid press and by the public. The two page letter was written approximately one month after the sinking.

It reads, “How kind of you to send me a cable of sympathy from New York on our safety. According to the way we’ve been treated by England on our return we didn’t seem to have done the right thing in being saved at all!!!! Isn’t it disgraceful.”

The unique piece of Titanic memorabilia, which is for sale at RR Auction, has been estimated to sell for $6,000 at a live auction in Boston on January 22.

Approximately 1,500 passengers died when the Titanic sank off the coast of Newfoundland after hitting an Iceberg on April 15, 1912.


Follow artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
  • Access the data behind the headlines with the artnet Price Database.

Share