A historically significant, museum-quality archive of material pertaining to the doomed ocean liner the RMS Titanic will be offered on the first day of a three-day multi-estate sale planned for October 21-23 by Philip Weiss Auctions.
The event will be held in the firm's gallery facility in Oceanside, New York.
"It's rare when anything Titanic-related comes on the market, and when it does it's often a minor item," said Philip Weiss of Philip Weiss Auctions.
"But this is an incredible archive that came to us directly from a descendant of John and Nelle Pillsbury Snyder, who were rescued when the Titanic sank on the morning of April 15, 1912. This is sure to generate great interest."
Included in the archive is a letter written on Titanic stationery (and dated April 10, five days before the sinking); another letter, dated April 18, that talks about the confusion from news sources and the White Star Line (which built the Titanic) at the time of the sinking; and original photos taken from the rescue ship the Carpathia, showing lifeboats headed towards survivors.
Also included will be a group of possibly the only photos in existence of the steamship Californian, shown sailing toward the Carpathia in a belated rescue effort.
An inquiry at the time revealed the Californian was actually closer to the Titanic than the Carpathia, and even saw the rocket flares indicating a ship in distress, but for a variety of reasons it was slow to respond.