LONDON, April 22 (Xinhua) — A fur coat worn by a stewardess when the famous passenger liner Titanic sank in 1912 was auctioned in Britain Saturday for 181,000 pounds (232,000 U.S. dollars).
It went under the hammer for more than double the estimated price of 80,000 pounds, and was bought by a British collector.
Mabel Bennett, wearing a nightdress, grabbed the full length coat for protection from the harsh elements of the North Atlantic as a lifeboat arrived to rescue her.
She survived, and died in 1974 aged 96. Bennett had given the coat to a great niece in the 1960s. The coat has been on display until recently in the United States where it was shown in a recreation of a Titanic first-class stateroom.
Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge described the garment as one of the most visual items to go on sale in recent years.
The coat came with a letter of provenance, which reads: “This coat was worn by my Great Aunt Mabel who was a stewardess.
“On her rescue from the Titanic she was in her nightdress and this coat was the first garment she snatched for warmth. My aunt gave me the coat in the early 1960s,” added the letter.
Bennett, who worked in the first class section of the Titanic, also wore the coat aboard the Red Star Line SS Lapland, which was used to transport the surviving Titanic crew back to Britain.
More than 1,500 passengers and crew died when the so-called unsinkable Titanic struck an iceberg and sank in April 1912, on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York.