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)

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Photo submitted)
Ermineskin citizen graduates vet school, is part of busy practice

Dr. Justin Hodgson is rolling up his sleeves in Meadow Lake, Sask.

Shaela Dansereau/Pipestone Flyer
Wetaskiwin City services impacted by new public health measures

Public centers and availability to public impacted by the new public health measures.

Wetaskiwin Composite High School. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools prepare for transition back to online learning

Grades 7-12 will are mandated to transfer to online learning starting Nov. 30, 2020.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said growing COVID-19 case numbers continue to be a concern in the province. (Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta announces 1,077 new COVID-19 cases Thursday

There are currently 14,052 active cases in the province

A person enters a building as snow falls in Ottawa, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. Ottawa has been successful in limiting the spread of COVID-19 during its second wave thanks to the city’s residents who have been wearing masks and staying home, said Ottawa’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
People to thank for Ottawa’s success with curbing COVID-19: health officer

The city’s chief medical officer said much of the credit goes to the people who live in Ottawa

Ridge Meadows RCMP are developing a new strategic plan for the detachment. (Phil McLachlan)
UPDATED: Male wanted for Montana First Nation shooting arrested

Darcy Cattleman located in Conklin, Alta.

The Red Deer Games Foundation has made changes to its grant program as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo supplied)
Red Deer Games Foundation adjusts grant program due to COVID-19 pandemic

The foundation postponed the spring 2020 grant program due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Shoppers line up in front of a shop on Montreal’s Saint-Catherine Street in search of Black Friday deals in Montreal, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Black Friday shopping in a pandemic: COVID-19 closes some stores, sales move online

Eric Morris, head of retail at Google Canada, says e-commerce in Canada has doubled during the pandemic.

skip2
Rimbey Christian School students experience the joy of giving

Grades three and four students raised $2,000 for Somalian children

Most Read