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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nak’azdli and UNBC form partnership to preserve inter-generational stories

“Stories can empower. Stories can bring people together. Stories can be instructive,”… Continue reading

B.C. premier talks forestry, service needs with handful of northern mayors in Prince George

Prince George meeting completes premier’s tour of Kitimat, Terrace, Fort St. James and Quesnel

Indigenous LNG supporters chide human rights advocates over pipeline comments

Coastal GasLink has signed agreements with 20 elected First Nation councils along the pipeline’s 670-kilometre path

Cluculz Lake fire leads to death of occupant

RCMP said mobile home was engulfed in fire when they arrived on scene

VIDEO: WHO says China virus not global health emergency

The decision came after Chinese authorities moved to lock down three cities on Thursday

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

B.C. still struggling to control non-resident medical care fraud

Unpaid bills, out-of-province claimants a costly legacy of MSP

Father to B.C.’s first MLB hall-of-famer is one proud dad

Larry Walker Sr. talks baseball background and son’s base running gaffe

Councillor in Revelstoke withdraws proposed 67% pay hike amid backlash

There was significant backlash to the proposed $25,000 and $70,000 wages

Most Read