Photo of Iceberg that Sank the Titanic to Be Auctioned, Expected to Fetch $10K

On the night of April 14th, 1912, the Titanic collided with a massive iceberg and sank, ending the lives of more than 1,000 people and becoming one of the deadliest maritime disasters in history. Now, one hundred years later, a photo that may the only surviving print showing that infamous chunk of ice is going up for auction. It’s expected to fetch up to $10,000.

The photo is being sold by American auction house RR Auction, which lists the print’s title as, “The Iceberg that Sunk Titanic.”

The 9.75×8-inch photograph was snapped by Captain W. F. Wood of a ship named S. S. Etonian, two days prior to the event.

Scribbled on the front of the photo are the words,

Copyright. Blueberg taken by Captain W. F. Wood S. S. Etonian on 12/4/12 in Lat 41° 50 N Long 49° 50 W. Titanic struck 14/4/12 and sank in three hours.

Although there are no known photos of the actual iceberg taken on the day of the tragedy, there are a number of reasons that have led experts to believe the one shown in this photo is that very iceberg.

First, it was captured at a location 2-3 days (in iceberg floating time) from were the ship sank. Second, the shape of the iceberg matches the sketches offered by eyewitnesses who survived the disaster, including the lookout who first spotted the ice in the horizon.

Finally, the iceberg’s shape resembles another photo (seen in the 1976 book A Night to Remember) taken from a ship named Prinz Adalbert, which was present in the area during the day after the sinking.

A photo of what may be the same iceberg, shot near the sinking of the Titanic on August 15th, 1912

RR Auction notes that the difference in appearance between the two icebergs may be “attributable to the angle of the photographer and the aftermath of impact,” and that all these reasons taken together have allowed “noted Titanic experts to establish this photograph as capturing the iceberg everyone has been talking about for the past century.”

In October of last year, we shared a number of unseen photos taken the morning after the sinking. In one of the photos there appears to be an iceberg in the horizon, but it’s difficult to discern whether it resembles the one(s) seen here.

It’ll be interesting to see how much this photo actually sells for. We’ll update this post after the auction ends on December 16th, 2012.

#42 – The Iceberg that Sunk Titanic [RR Auction via The Daily via Smithsonian]

  • MM

    Somebody tell that illiterate auction house that the word they’re looking for is ‘sank’, not ‘sunk’. Thanks for using the right word in your title

  • Jackson Cheese

    “The Iceberg that Sunk Titanic” is the name that was given to the photo by the photographer, Captain W. F. Wood of the S. S. Etonian, not the name given by the auction house.

    Captain Wood was born in Eastern Poland, and was not a native speaker of the English language. The past participle of the word “sink” in the Prussian languages does, in fact, translate to what the Captain would understand as the word “sunk” in English.

  • Michael Zhang

    Thanks for pointing out the title thing. Fixed.

  • BC

    The joke’s on them. I just printed out 100 copies of this baby.

  • harumph

    It must have been taken with a D600. Look at all that sensor dust in the upper right hand corner.

  • Brubbuian

    I have a copy now for free. Thank you.

  • Samcornwell

    Everyone’s comments on being happy with a digital copy is interesting. What’s more interesting is that this actual print is also in fact a copy. Where’s the original negative from which the copy was taken? That’s where the money should be, unless of course it was destroyed.

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