LONDON (REUTERS) - A hand-written letter found on the body of a man killed in the sinking of the Titanic is expected to fetch up to £80,000 at auction on Saturday (Oct 21).
The letter, written by first-class passenger Alexander Oskar Holverson to his mother on embossed Titanic "on-board" stationary, describes his impressions of the palatial ship, praising the food and music.
"If all goes well we will arrive in New York Wednesday A.M.," Holverson wrote the day before the ship's fateful encounter with an iceberg.
Holverson was a Minnesota-born salesman, who was travelling on the ship with his wife, Mary Alice, who survived the sinking.
In the letter, he also describes his experiences rubbing shoulders with one of the ship's most famous passengers.
"John Jacob Astor is on this ship," he said of the American financier and real-estate investor, who was one of the world's richest men at the time.
"He looks like any other human being even though he has millions of money. They sit out on deck with the rest of us."
The letter is one of the last known to have survived the sinking - it still carries stains from its time in the Atlantic.
The Titanic was the largest ocean liner in service when it struck an iceberg on April 14 1912 in the Atlantic while travelling from Southampton to New York.
More than 1,500 people died.
The letter is being auctioned by the Holverson family at Henry Aldrige & Son auctioneers in the southern English town of Devizes.