A rare letter, written on the titanic on the ship’s letterhead has been sold on Auction Saturday in the U.K. for a world record price of $166,000. Oscar Holverson was an American passenger on the Titanic with his wife Mary. The day before the ship hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage and sank, he wrote a letter to his mother, giving his impressions of the giant ship. Holverson died in the sinking of the Titanic, but his wife survived. She found the letter in a pocket book when her husband’s remains were retrieved.

Letter to mother gives impressions of the Titanic

In the letter, Holverson described the Titanic as being “giant in size,” saying it was fitted out just like a “palatial hotel.” Holverson praised both the food and music on the iconic passenger ship. He also remarked about the level of passengers traveling with him on the ship, which included the richest man in the world, John Jacob Astor. Holverson remarked that Astor looked like any other human being, despite the fact he had millions, saying Astor sat out on deck with the rest of the passengers.

As reported by Reuters, the ship was en route from Southampton to New York when disaster struck. Holverson had written in the letter that if all went well, they would be arriving in New York on Wednesday morning.

However, the next day the Titanic struck the iceberg leading to both Holverson and Astor being among the 1,500 victims who drowned in its sinking.

Holverson’s wife Mary survived the tragic incident and on recovering her husband’s body, the letter was discovered on his person, inside a pocket book. While the letter was stained with sea water, it is still a highly coveted artifact of the tragedy, as it is believed to be the only letter on Titanic notepaper to have gone into the water and survived the experience.

Iconic and rare letter sells for $166,000

Andrew Aldridge, the auctioneer, said the letter had been sold to a British collector of iconic historic artifacts for $166,000, which is a world record price for such an item.

Speaking at the auction prior to its sale, Aldridge said even if the letter had been “virtually blank,” it would still have ranked among the most desirable items, due to the nature of its paper, the markings on it and its history.

He went on to explain to be BBC that the content of the letter took it to another level, due to its date, the fact the letter survived its dunking in the Atlantic Sea, as well as the observations about the Titanic that it contained. Aldridge added that the interest shown in the iconic letter proves that interest in the fated ship and its passengers is still incredibly strong.

Aldridge also said the letter did eventually make its way to Holverson’s mother, which possibly makes it the only letter written by a Titanic victim that was delivered to its recipient without the benefit of postage.