Lot 242: Interesting letters concerning an insurance claim for the loss of property by one of the survivors of the Titanic disaster, Emilio Portaluppi, consisting of three TLSs and three carbon copies of letters between the White Star Line and their lawyers Hill Dickinson & Co. First is a TLS in Italian from G. C. Cantaluppi, the representatives of the White Star Line in Naples, one page, 8.5 x 11, December 1, 1915, including a carbon copy translation to English, in part: "There has presented himself to us a soldier Emilio Portaluppi survivor of the Titanic. He has lost all his fortune deposited in the safe of the unfortunate vessel and asks for information i.e. if the liquidation of damages has been decided with the Insurance Company, and when he can obtain indemnity." A carbon copy of the White Star Line's response directs Portaluppi to contact the main offices in Liverpool, and a TLS from the Naples branch forwards the letter to the White Star Line in Liverpool; a TLS from the Liverpool office, December 10, 1915, in turn forwards the letters to Hill Dickinson & Co. The final letter is a carbon copy of Hill Dickinson's response, stating that they will attend to the case in question. In overall very good to fine condition, with creasing and edge tears to a few letters.Among the many items in Portaluppi's claim were a sum of $5,000 deposited in the purser's safe onboard the Titanic; a signed photo of Garibaldi which he claimed was worth $3,000; hundreds of dollars worth of clothing and jewelry; and thousands of dollars worth of his original artwork. All together, he valued his property at about $17,000 and wanted $25,000 for his pain, suffering, and costs incurred, for a total sum of over $42,000. When Robert Ballard discovered the Titanic wreckage he did encounter a safe, but was unable to open it; a second safe has been recovered from the site since that time but it is unclear as to whether Portaluppi's money was inside. An interesting collection of correspondence concerning the often overlooked plight of the survivors of the disaster.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 466
Wednesday, 9th December 2015
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