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A Titanic survivor's walking stick, with an electric light she used to signal for help from a lifeboat, is one of thousands of maritime items that will be up for auction in Rhode Island.
Guernsey's auction house is holding the auction at the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport on July 19 and 20 and Guernsey's President Arlan Ettinger described Ella White's cane as one of the most extraordinary items to have survived the sinking.
Seller - Week - Effort - College - Relatives
But as the seller is set to fetch between $300,000 and $500,000 next week in an effort to pay for college, relatives last week said they were prepared to fight the sale, claiming the funds should be split.
'It's a fabled object and Titanic enthusiasts have certainly heard of it,' he said. 'Most didn't know it has survived. The family didn't do anything to promote it, so it's a very exciting discovery,' Ettinger said about the find.
Stick - Guernsey - Williams - Family - Milford
The walking stick was consigned to Guernsey's by the Williams family in Milford, Connecticut.
Brad Williams said his grandmother, Mildred Holmes, was White's niece and cared for her affairs before she died in 1942 at the age of 85.
Holmes - Possession - Walking - Stick - Williams
Holmes took possession of the walking stick and it was passed on to Williams' mother, then to him, according to the seller.
Williams, a 59-year-old cane collector, says he kept it in an umbrella stand with about 35 other canes.
Home - Proceeds - Children
He said he wants it to go to a home where it will be better displayed, and use the proceeds for his children.
'It's family history so I do I have trepidation about parting with it, but I also have to pay for college,' said Williams, who runs a boat repair business in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Pre-auction - Estimate - Ettinger
The pre-auction estimate is $300,000 to $500,000, though Ettinger said it's very hard to predict what it might fetch because it's such...
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