A rare print signed by the last survivor of the Titanic will be available for auction at Shebbear College’s annual Michaelmas Ball.
A LIMITED edition print signed by the last survivor and youngest passenger of the Titanic will be put up for auction in North Devon.
Millvina Dean, who passed away in 2009, was just nine-weeks-old when, along with her mother and brother, she became one of the first steerage passengers to escape the sinking ship on a lifeboat on April 14, 1912.
The rare print was donated by renowned marine artist Rodney Charman and will be auctioned off at the Michaelmas Ball at Shebbear College on September 29.
Mr Charman has also signed the painting, which was a result of painstaking historical research to ensure it was accurate.
His son, Mark Charman, works at Shebbear College and remembers Millvina well.
He said: “My father and I used to visit Millvina at her home in Ashurst, just of outside Southampton, and we spent many hours listening to her fascinating life story. We both feel privileged to have known her as a friend.”
Millvina’s family had decided to emigrate to America to start a new life, but their dreams were shattered by the disaster in which her father perished.
In her later years, Millvina, who was struggling with her monthly care home bills in Southampton, was helped financially by Titanic movie actors Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as the film’s director James Cameron.
Mark continued: “Millvina originally signed around 350 copies a few years ago so that’s the worldwide limited edition number. All but a handful of these have now been sold, so this is quite rare.
“As a guideline, a gallery that has one of the few remaining copies is offering it for £500. The main point is that it is no longer possible to get Millvina’s signature.”
The print, titled ‘R.M.S. Titanic Leaving the White Star Dock, Southampton, 10th April 1912’, has been rated by a leading Titanic historian as ‘the best painting of the Titanic ever produced’.
The ball, which will include the charity auction, has been organise by the Old Shebbearians’ Association and Friends of Shebbear College, and will accommodate 350 guests.
The funds raised from the ball and auction will be split between the two groups, and proceeds from a prize draw held on the night will also go to author Michael Morpurgo’s charity, ‘Farms for City Children’.
For more information about the Michaelmas Ball visit www.michaelmasball.co.uk