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

Sports Briefs: Busy weekend ahead on the trails and the links

Summer winds down with a pair of competitions

Australian gold mining giant acquires Red Chris mine

Newcrest now owns 70 per cent of the mine south of Iskut and operatorship

Haida Gwaii storm causes B.C. ferry delay

Skidegate to Prince Rupert route affected

Prince Rupert Rampage 2019-20 season schedule released

Trio of games against Terrace River Kings plus showdowns against new teams highlight the season

Council briefs: Gurney marks one year as Lester Centre’s manager, marina revenues down

Council supports Métis Awareness week but has concern over raising Infinity Flag

Captain, all-star, MVP, and all about the team

Brittanne O’Connor’s drive to create Prince Rupert’s own women’s team has led to success and inspiration

The Northern View announces inaugural Tyee Fishing Derby in Prince Rupert

More than $7,000 up for grabs for biggest legal salmon and halibut

The Northern View 2019 Readers Choice

It’s that time of year again! Vote online or at the Prince Rupert office before noon on Aug. 30

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Pregnant teachers fight to change WorkSafeBC compensation rules

Agency does not recognize risk to unborn babies when mother catches illness from work

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Most Read