Lot #290
Marconigrams

Two British Enquiry Marconigrams, one requesting a full narrative from a survivor, “preferably Frank D. Millet or Maj. Butt”
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Estimate: $10000+

The 30 Minute Rule begins September 13 at 7:00 PM. An Initial Bid Must Be Placed By September 13 at 6:00 PM To Participate After 6:00 PM

Description

Two British Enquiry Marconigrams, one requesting a full narrative from a survivor, “preferably Frank D. Millet or Maj. Butt”

Two handwritten Marconigrams in pencil, both 8.5 x 5.5, and affixed to opposite sides of a 13.5 x 8.25 album page, with British Enquiry evidence numbers 168 and 169 written at the top of the pages. First Marconigram, stamped "Carpathia," is addressed to the "Operator Carpathia," stamp-dated April 17, 1912. In full: "Can you get survivor write Boston Globe full narrative disaster and also wireless report to Franconia if so get most promising man preferably Frank D. Millet or Maj. Butt all charges paid here. Winfield Thompson." Second is addressed to "Mrs. Paul Schubert Carpathia," and reads: "Very happy you are saved. Love to both. Paul." In very good condition, with scattered creases, some stray pencil and ink marks, and scattered light toning. Both Marconigrams are documented in the book Titanic: Signals of Disaster. Book notes number 168 was received from MEA by H. C (altered from H. B.) at 6:35 am (altered from 6:25). Number 169 was received from DKP by H.B. At 10:15 am.

As evidenced by the first Marconigram, news outlets were desperate for exclusive information surrounding the disaster. Winfield Thompson was a reporter for the Boston Globe aboard the Franconia, a Cunard Line steamer bound for Liverpool via Quebec, whose task was to monitor wireless traffic between the Carpathia and other wireless stations, and to retransmit any important news back to the Globe. The biggest news that Thompson broke during this time was that there were 705 Titanic survivors on the Carpathia, a reduction from a previously reported 868. However, at the time he dispatched this Marconigram, he was unaware that both of his requested sources—Francis D. Millet, an accomplished artist, and Archibald Butt, a respected presidential aide—had passed away in the tragedy. With the second Marconigram's heartwarming message, this piece presents a striking contrast of the tragedy's aftermath.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autographs and Artifacts
  • Dates: August 18 - September 13