Mementoes from the Titanic put up for sale by the last remaining survivor to help pay for her nursing home fees have fetched over £30,000 (€38,547), auctioneers in the UK said today.
Millvina Dean was forced to sell a 100-year-old suitcase filled with clothes which was given to her family by the people of New York when they arrived in America after being rescued.
The 96-year-old also auctioned rare prints of the fated cruise liner which have been signed by the artists along with compensation letters sent to her mother by the Titanic Relief Fund.
The suitcase today fetched £10,800 (€13,877), the prints £9,250 (€11,885) and the letters sold for £11,100 (€14,262).
In total they made more than ten times the amount Miss Dean had said she hoped to raise.
Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said: “It is a great amount of money, I am sure she will be very happy when we tell her the news.
“The Titanic International Society had bid for the items with the intention of giving them back to Millvina. Unfortunately they were blown out of the water by other bidders.”
Miss Dean was a two-month-old baby when the ship infamously sank in 1912. Her family were emigrating to Kansas when it went down. She was placed in a sack and carried to safety along with her mother and brother. But her father Bertram was one of more than 1,500 people who died. She moved into a private nursing home in the UK two years ago after breaking her hip.
Miss Dean said: “I was hoping to be here for two weeks after breaking my hip but I developed an infection and have been here for two years. I am not able to live in my home anymore.
“I am selling it all now because I have to pay these nursing home fees and am selling anything that I think might fetch some money.”
Her mementoes were among a number of Titanic items being sold at the auction today.
Other lots included a watch belonging to a crew member which sold for £92,000 (€118,213), a Titanic key that fetched £80,000 (€102,794) and a lifejacket which went for £55,000 (€70,671).