The only confirmed photograph of the iceberg that sunk the Titanic will be offered at auction next month. The photo was taken by the captain of the S.S. Estonian two days before the infamous crash occurred. The caption in black ink reads, “Copyright. Blueberg taken by Captain W.F. Wood S. S. Estonian on 12/4/12 in Lat 41° 50 N Long 49° 50 W. Titanic struck 14/4/12 and sank in three hours.” (’Blueberg’ refers to the tinting of the iceberg as a result of the sun’s rays.) The photo measures 9.75” x 8” and is affixed to a 13” x11” mount.
Photographs of icebergs in the vicinity of the collision have appeared over the years, but RR Auction, the firm offering the item, said that Titanic experts were able to confirm that this was the iceberg due to the noted position of the iceberg, the timetable of when the photograph was taken, and its correspondence to the sketches drawn by Titanic’s crewman as well as a photo taken after the ship went down. The auction estimate is $8,000-$10,000.
Over 400 items will be offered in the upcoming Titanic auction, including a painted cast bronze flag from a Titanic lifeboat; a deck chair from the rescue ship R.M.S. Carpathia; a letter written by Isidor Straus, the owner of Macy’s department store and former U.S. Congressman, that references his intended voyage home to New York aboard the Titanic; and blank “On board RMS ‘Titanic’” lettercard stationary. Bidding for the auction opens December 13 and ends December 16.