The Washington Post

Rare Titanic photo to be sold at auction

This photo courtesy of RR Auction shows a rare original 9.75 x 8 photo of a uniquely shaped ‘blueberg’ photographed by the captain of the Leyland Line steamer S. S. Etonian two days before the Titanic collided with it. (W.F.WOOD/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

According to its auctioneer, the faded, 9.75 x 8-inch photo was taken two days before the Titanic sank by the captain of the S.S. Estonian, another steamship. Experts confirmed the photo’s authenticity after checking its distance from the wreckage and comparing it to sketches by two Titanic crew members, including the quasi-infamous lookout Frederick Fleet.

Collectors have only a few more weeks to cash in on the 100-year-old tragedy. Over the weekend, two menus from the Titanic sold for a combined $160,450, according to auctioneer Henry Aldridge & Son. (Among the noms: foie gras-stuffed eggs, lobster and Sussex capon.) In April, a 5,500-piece collection of Titanic artifacts and property rights, including White Star Line china, passengers’ jewelry and sovereign possession of the wreck itself, went on the auction block at Guernsey’s in New York. Guernsey’s appraised the collection at a titanic $189 million.

That isn’t to say the mania will end with the ship’s centennial — there’s a reason National Geographic Museum named its Titanic exhibit the “100 Year Obsession.” More than three dozen Titanic-themed books came out in April, according to the New Yorker. In the Guardian, Stuart Heritage writes that every conceivable strain of Titanic TV show, from a Julian Fellowes mini-series to a commemorative concert, clogged Britain’s airwaves to mark the ship’s centennial. Even this latest photo goes to auction with another 400 artifacts.

It is, so to speak, just the tip of the iceberg.

View Photo Gallery: The 100th anniversary of the ill-fated voyage reignited the world’s fascination with the disaster.

Caitlin Dewey is The Post’s digital culture critic. Follow her on Twitter @caitlindewey or subscribe to her daily newsletter on all things Internet. (


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.