NEWS > Life
Jeweler purchases key from Titanic
2007-09-25 03:04:01 Shanghai Daily

A CHINESE jeweler bought a key that was indirectly responsible for the sinking of the Titanic 95 years ago.

Shen Dongjun bought the key for 78,000 pounds (US$157,930) in London on Saturday. Shen is the CEO of Tesiro China, the largest jewelry retailer opened by a European company on the Chinese mainland, according to the Nanjing-based Yangtze Evening News.

The key will go on display in Nanjing soon, said the report.

Shen entrusted Kunal Mehta, the son of Kaushik Mehta, Board Chairman of Tesiro, to take part in the Christie's auction.

The key was the only one that opened the telescope on the Titanic's lookout platform during its virgin voyage from Southampton to New York in April 1912.

David Blair, the second mate on the ship, was in charge of the key but forgot to hand it to others when he was replaced by a more experienced seaman, Henry Wilder, the report said.

Lookouts had to observe the surroundings with their naked eyes when the ship was sailing across the icy waters of the North Atlantic.

By the time they spotted an iceberg, it was too late.

The Titanic sunk rapidly as five of her 16 watertight compartments flooded. Up to 1,522 passengers and crew died.

The daughter of Blair donated the key to a local sailor's association in the 1980s.

At least 400 items including letters and post cards related to the ship were on sale at the auction.

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