A key which opened a lifejacket locker on board the ill-fated White Star liner, Titanic has been sold at auction for £85,000.


The lifejacket locker key was one of 249 lots at the Henry Aldridge and Son’s Titanic and Icons Auction.

It was estimated to fetch between £30,000-£50,000, and ended up with a winning bid of £85,000.

The “extremely rare corroded iron key with brass tag ‘Locker 14’ ‘F Deck'” was recovered from the body of the Second Third Class Steward, Sidney Sedunary.

Key to the lifejacket locker on Titanic

A close up of the key. Credit: Henry Aldridge and Son

The 23-year-old lost his life when Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg in April 1912.

Prior to the sinking, he helped handout lifejackets to passengers.

Also included in the auction on 22 October, 2016, were letters from Titanic’s second in command, Chief Officer Henry Wilde.

The correspondence covers the 20 years of Wilde’s career with White Star Line, and went for £5,000.

His final letter, written on the 31 March, 1912, reveals his disappointment at being transferred from the Olympic to the Titanic.

Wilde had expected to take command of the Cymric before his unexpected reassignment.

Written on Olympic-headed paper, the Chief Officer says that White Star are paying £2 tonne for coal which is a big price as Titanic uses 900 tonnes per day. There was a coal strike on at the time.

The final letter written by the second in command on Titanic, Henry Wilde

Wilde’s last letter. Credit: Henry Aldridge and Son

Other memorabilia sold at the auction included pictures and postcards of the ill-fated liner, post-disaster commemorative plate and beaker and a 9ct. gold and diamond mourning pendant.

Earlier in the year, Henry Aldridge and Son sold the sextant belonging to Sir Arthur Rostron, the captain of the rescue ship, Carpathia.

The Cunard liner arrived two hours after the Titanic sank.

Sir Arthur Rostron, the captain of the rescue ship, Carpathia

Sir Arthur Rostron (left) and his sextant (right). Credit: Henry Aldridge and Son

Sir Arthur’s prompt response to the disaster is credited with saving the lives of more than 700 of Titanic’s passengers and crew.

The sextant was sold to a UK collector for more than £66,000.