Titanic victim's pocket watch sold at Heritage Auctions
August 29, 2018: A pocket watch recovered from R.M.S. Titanic passenger Sinai Kantor, a Russian immigrant who got his wife to one of the liner’s few lifeboats before perishing in icy waters, sold for $57,500 on a winning bid cast by John Miottel, a collector of timepieces relating to the infamous disaster.
Heritage Auctions offered the pocket watch on August 25, in a public auction of important Americana memorabilia.
The pocket watch was sold by a direct descendant of Miriam and Sinai Kantor. Both from Vitebsk, Russia.
He was just 34 years old, and she just 24, when he paid £26 (roughly $3,666 today) for ticket No. 244367. The two were among 285 Second Class passengers and boarded the ship together in Southampton, England.
The Swiss-made open-face silver-on-brass watch, with its original movement and a diameter of three inches, includes numerals that are Hebrew letters. The back cover has an embossed design that shows Moses holding the Ten Commandments. The watch’s movement is rusted, the result of immersion in salt water, and the hands are nearly all deteriorated and the dial is stained. The watch was sold with a letter of provenance from the descendant, who does not wish to be identified, along with copies of letters issued in the aftermath of the tragedy, sent to Miriam Kantor.
“It will take one of the primary spots in our collection,” Mr. Miottel said, where it will be added to the San Francisco Bay Area museum’s Ocean Liner Section, which is comprised of thousands of historic maritime artifacts and memorabilia.