FILE - This 2019 file photo provided by Guernsey’s Auction House shows a walking cane that was owned by Titanic survivor Ella White. The cane, contained a built-in electric light that she used to signal from a lifeboat. Guernsey’s said Monday, July 22, 2019, that the cane sold for $62,500 during an auction of several maritime items in Newport, R.I. (Rafael Zegarra/Guernsey’s Auction House via AP, File)

Titanic survivor’s light-up cane goes for $62,500 at auction

Ella White appointed herself as a signalman for lifeboat 8, waving her walking stick about

A Titanic survivor’s walking stick, with an electric light she used to signal for help from a lifeboat, sold for $62,500 at an auction of maritime items, the auction house said Monday.

Guernsey’s held the sale at the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, Rhode Island, on Friday and Saturday. The top bid on Ella White’s cane was $50,000, plus the surcharge added by the auction house, Guernsey’s President Arlan Ettinger said.

Ettinger had expected it to sell for far more, with a pre-auction estimate of $300,000 to $500,000. He described it as one of the most extraordinary items to have survived the sinking.

The walking stick was consigned to Guernsey’s by the Williams family in Milford, Connecticut.

Some family members contested the sale. The relatives agreed before the auction on how to split the proceeds and the issue was resolved, but the dispute may have made potential bidders nervous, Ettinger said.

The winning bidder said he was there on behalf of a friend in the United Kingdom, Ettinger added.

In Walter Lord’s book about the Titanic and in investigative hearings after its 1912 sinking, it was noted that White appointed herself as a signalman for lifeboat 8, waving her walking stick about.

Brad Williams said his grandmother was White’s niece and cared for her affairs before she died in 1942 at age 85, and then took possession of the walking stick. It was passed on to Williams’ mother, then to him, Williams added.

READ MORE: $130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic

Jennifer McDermott, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Climate change, economy and reconciliation take centre stage at Oct. 15 All-Candidates Forum

Six of the eight candidates were in attendance at the Smithers event

Slow down for students: School zone speeds now in effect

RCMP will be making sure drivers keep it at 30 km/h or less, with heavy fines for breaking the law

Queen Charlotte fire hall is a go

Start of construction marked with groundbreaking ceremony

NCRD Board turns attention to Haida Gwaii

Fishing concerns, recreation commission, and Sandspit festival all receive focus

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

ELECTION 2019: Have Justin Trudeau’s Liberals really cut middle-class taxes?

Conservative Andrew Scheer vows to cut bottom bracket, NDP’s Jagmeet Singh targets wealth tax

B.C. RCMP officer suing the force for malicious prosecution

Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth cleared of wrongdoing after misconduct hearing

Talk to your kids about vaping, B.C.’s top doctor says

B.C. health officials have discovered the first vaping-related illness in the province

Saik’uz and Stellat’en First Nations court battle against RioTinto Alcan to start next week

Saik’uz and Stellat’en First Nations are taking Rio Tinto Alcan to court over their functioning of the Kenney Dam that affects the Nechako River

Alberta truck convoy plans counter-protest at climate rally with Greta Thunberg

United We Roll organizer says similar protest planned for Swedish teen’s event in Edmonton

Most Read