Lot #292
Titanic: Isidor Straus

“We sail for home on the steamer 'Titanic' leaving from Southampton April 10th”
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“We sail for home on the steamer 'Titanic' leaving from Southampton April 10th”

Renowned owner of Macy’s department Store on New York’s Herald Square. In addition to his involvement with Macy’s and various other business enterprises, Straus had been a US congressman and was active in numerous Philanthropic and religious organizations. ALS signed “Isidor,” two pages on two adjoining sheets, 9.75 x 8, Claridge’s Hotel, Brook Street. W. letterhead, April 5, 1912. Letter to Julius (probably his cousin Julius Straus). In full: “I am in receipt of your favor of the 3d inst. It certainly is of great interest to me that you become a member of the Verband & I know you will use all energy compatible with discretion to bring this about as soon as possible. it will be pleasant for me to learn how you regard the prospects of accomplishing this & how soon you have reason to expect results. We sail for home on the steamer ‘Titanic’ leaving from Southampton April 10th & a letter addressed to me passenger for Stmr ‘Titanic’ care of White Star Line Southampton may yet reach. Ida joins in kindest remembrances to you & your better half.” Under his signature, Straus adds a brief postscript that reads, “We start from here Wednesday morning.” Beautifully cloth-matted and framed with a photo of the couple and two informational plaques to an overall size of 27.75 x 16. In fine condition, with a central horizontal fold, some scattered light soiling, and a couple light rusty paperclip marks to lower left of second page.

Straus and his wife, Rosalie “Ida”, along with Mr. Straus’s valet and Mrs. Straus’s maid boarded Titanic in Southampton as First Class passengers, intending to return to the Straus home in New York; only the maid survived. Straus’s body was the 96th to be recovered by the cable ship Mackay-Bennett. It was brought to Halifax before being taken to New York for burial.

Written material from Isidor Straus relating to the Titanic is practically nonexistent, and to the best of our knowledge this particular letter is unpublished. Not only does Straus speak of the sailing day in this letter, he mentions the Titanic by name—twice! Transcripts of letters written by Isidor and Ida as well as more detailed information about the family and the Straus’s trip to Europe and their voyage on Titanic can be found on the official Straus family website here (http://www.straushistoricalsociety.org/). Follow the links to Archives and Documents and Isidor Straus. We must stress that the letter offered here directly mentions Titanic by name, and we simply cannot imagine a more relevant letter from such an iconic passenger written so close to sailing day. Oversized. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Rare Manuscript, Document & Autograph
  • Dates: March 22 - April 17

This item is Pre-Certified by PSA DNA Precertified Letter
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