Page last updated at 13:01 GMT, Friday, 30 May 2008 14:01 UK

Titanic life vest to make $80,000

The life-jacket and other lots go under the hammer at Christie's in New York
The life-jacket and other lots go under the hammer at Christie's in New York

A life-jacket from the ill-fated Titanic could make $80,000 (40,570) when it goes up for auction next month.

The life-preserver was found during the initial recovery operation after the liner struck an iceberg and sank in 1912.

The item is one of several linked to the Titanic which are being sold off by Christie's in Manhattan, New York.

The canvass life-vest, filled with cork, was recovered by John James Dunbar.

He had gone to Halifax, Canada, to help with the clean-up after the sinking of the Titanic.

The ship sank on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York on 15 April 1912 with the loss of 1,522 lives.

Last year, another Titanic life-preserver was sold at Christie's in London for $119,000.

Christie's catalogue said the vest up for auction in Manhattan contains water, oil and possibly blood stains.

A spokesman said: "It is unclear whether it came from a beach 'sweep' looking for remains along the shores of Nova Scotia, or from a victim recovered by the S.S. MacKay-Bennett, S.S. Minia, or one of the other ships sent out on the search for bodies.

"It is well documented that all of the ships brought back pieces of floating debris, such as pieces of wood and deck chairs.

"John James Dunbar apparently did this sort of thing whenever help was needed, and did the same after the Halifax Explosion of 1917."

Other items up for sale include a list of second class passengers - expected to fetch up to $20,000 (10,100) - and a Marconi gram sent to Miss Elizabeth Walton Allen after being rescued by the Carpathia from the wreck of the Titanic - which could make up to $15,000 (7,600).

The life-jacket and other lots go under the hammer at Christie's in New York on 25 June.

Titanic watch up for web auction
19 Mar 08 |  South of Scotland
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22 Sep 07 |  Northern Ireland
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18 Apr 07 |  Wiltshire

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