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Montevideo, May 26th 2024 - 01:49 UTC

 

 

Record auction price for 14-carat gold pocket watch belonging to the richest passenger on the Titanic

Monday, April 29th 2024 - 09:26 UTC
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The auction for John Jacob Astor IV's 14-carat gold Waltham pocket watch, engraved with the initials JJA was sold to an American buyer. The auction for John Jacob Astor IV's 14-carat gold Waltham pocket watch, engraved with the initials JJA was sold to an American buyer.

A pocket watch that belonged to the wealthiest passenger aboard RMS Titanic sold for £1,175 million (€1,38 million, US$1,46 million) at an auction on Saturday, smashing a pre-sale estimate. Henry Aldridge & Son, the auction house, had anticipated it would sell for between £100,000/£150,000.

The auction for John Jacob Astor IV's 14-carat gold Waltham pocket watch was sold to an American buyer. The watch, engraved with the initials JJA, was found with Astor's body when it was recovered several days after the Titanic sank in April 1912. He died after helping his pregnant wife escape into the last lifeboat and she survived the accident.

Astor was also found with a diamond ring, gold and diamond cufflinks, 225 pounds in English notes, and US$ 2,440. “The watch itself was completely restored after being returned to Colonel Astor's family and worn by his son,” the auction house wrote in a statement.

”Astor is well known as the richest passenger aboard the R.M.S. Titanic and was thought to be among the wealthiest people in the world at that time, with a net worth of roughly US$ 87 million (equivalent to several billion dollars today,)“ the auction house wrote.

The previous highest amount paid for Titanic artefacts was £1.1 million for a violin that was played as the ship sank - which sold at the same auction house in 2013, according to the auctioneers. The case for the violin was sold at the same auction as the pocket watch for £360,000.

The prices fetched by the Titanic memorabilia at the sale were ”absolutely incredible,“ auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said.

”They reflect not only the importance of the artefacts themselves and their rarity but they also show the enduring appeal and fascination with the Titanic story,” he said.

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