Survivor's autographed jacket goes under hammer for £60,000

A lifejacket worn by a survivor of the Titanic disaster was auctioned at Christie’s this morning, Wednesday 16 May. The lifejacket, worn by Laura Mabel Francatelli and signed by some of the 12 people on board her lifeboat, went under the hammer for £60,000. It was one of several items in the maritime sale with links to the luxury liner, which sank on 15 April 1912, claiming the lives of more than 1,500 people.

Miss Francatelli was secretary to dress designer Lady Duff-Gordon. The sale includes a copy of a letter Miss Francatelli wrote just days after she was rescued, describing how she and Lady Duff Gordon refused to get into the lifeboats without her husband Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon. They were eventually allowed to go with him on a small emergency rowing boat. The lifeboat she was on sparked controversy, as those in it failed to return to the wreck site to pick up survivors, despite the boat being more than half empty.