Titanic survivor Molly Brown’s blanket to go under the hammer

A number of items associated with the famous liner will be sold in east Belfast, a short distance from the shipyard where she was built.

Rebecca Black
Wednesday 06 April 2022 11:00
Items including a deck blanket and trinket box which reputedly belonged to famous Titanic survivor Molly Brown are to go under the hammer in Belfast (PA)
Items including a deck blanket and trinket box which reputedly belonged to famous Titanic survivor Molly Brown are to go under the hammer in Belfast (PA)

Items including a deck blanket and trinket box which reputedly belonged to famous Titanic survivor Molly Brown are to go under the hammer in Belfast.

One hundred and ten years after the ill-fated liner tragically sank, a number of items associated with her will be auctioned in east Belfast, a short distance from the Harland and Wolff shipyard where she was built.

The White Star Line vessel was one of the most luxurious ever built back in 1912, but despite being described as unsinkable, she foundered after striking an iceberg on her maiden voyage to New York with the loss of more then 1,500 lives.

Photo by Photo by Darren Kidd/Presseye

Among the survivors, American human-rights activist Brown went on to assist others by establishing the Survivor’s Committee, raising almost 10,000 dollars (£7,650) for those left destitute by the disaster.

Items associated with Ms Brown and fellow survivor Elsie Bowerman will be among the Titanic, White Star Line, Harland & Wolff, Jewellery and Collectors’ Sale later this month.

Karl Bennett, managing director of Bloomfield Auctions’ said he expects mammoth global interest in Ms Brown’s items.

“As part of the sale, Molly’s White Star Line embroidered deck chair blanket, which was in her possession when she was travelling on the Titanic, will be going under the hammer, as will an engraved trinket box that was given to Molly by her husband upon her safe return to New York,” he said.

Photo by Photo by Darren Kidd/Presseye

“We also have a diamond encrusted Legion of Honour medal that was awarded to Molly by the French for her charitable efforts during World War One.

“Accompanying these items are a host of documents relating to the famous actor Errol Flynn, which also make reference to Molly’s items.

“Molly truly led a fascinating life and was inspirational in all that she managed to achieve, especially for a woman during that time. We still continue to see remnants of her achievements even into the present day as the American youth justice system is based on the one she previously created in Colorado.”

He added: “We also have a postcard of Elsie Bowerman, who interestingly was on the same lifeboat as Molly, as well as a chequered handkerchief and a deck of Patience playing cards that were owned by her.”

Items going under the hammer also include a launch stub, reputedly owned by a friend of former Harland & Wolff managing director Thomas Andrews, a cut-throat razor belonging to Titanic lookout Alfred Evans and a discharge certificate for officer J Boxhall.

“The launch stub is something that would’ve been given to dignitaries,” Mr Bennett said.

“We believe that it was owned by a friend of Thomas Andrews and the stub has faded pencil markings on it.

: A Titanic launch stub, which was reputedly owned by a friend of former Harland & Wolff Managing Director, Thomas Andrews. (Press Eye/PA)

“Alfred Evans was one of the Titanic’s lookouts who was on duty on the night of the sinking. We have a razor that belonged to him with the inscription ‘Oceanic 1911.’ An identical razor, owned by another crewman was presented by surviving steward F Dent Ray to the Titanic Historical Society in Massachusetts.”

Mr Bennett described the items as “remarkable pieces of history”, ideal for a Titanic fan, a maritime collector or a museum.

“This auction will be a fantastic opportunity to own something from one of the most beautiful and famous ships ever built,” he said,

The sale includes other notable nautical items including an original deck chair that was on the Lusitania, a passenger liner that was torpedoed by a German U Boat in 1915. The deck chair was recovered at sea after the sinking by John Williams, manager of Ensor’s Marine Salvage Company in Queenstown.

The auction catalogue for the sale, which will take place on April 26 in house and online, is now available to view: www.bloomfieldauctions.co.uk

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