“When we approached yesterday on the steamer it was cool as the Río de la Plata, and when I looked up I had the effect of being at the foot of a five-story house.”
With these words, the Uruguayan Ramon Artagaveytia Gomez Try to explain your feelings. He is about to embark on a journey across the Atlantic Ocean in an immense ship, and seeks to bring this experience closer to his brother Adolfo de él, who is waiting for him in the New Continent.
This missive in paper with heading and with company watermark White Star Line It is accompanied by a note:Last letter my dear brother Ramón wrote. Three days after this, he sank the Titanic, perishing by drowning.
It is a letter written on board the RMS Titanic by a Uruguayan passenger and sent from Ireland to his brother on April 11, 1912, four days before the famous shipwreck on April 15, 1912. The piece is part of an auction of some 800 lots of Creole silverware, military and historical documents which are being auctioned in person in Montevideo and online by the company Zorrilla.
The auction of 800 lots includes about twenty pieces of the German battleship Admiral Graf Spee. This ship was sunk by its captain on December 17, 1939, after the Battle of the Río de la Plata fought between the British and Germans off the Uruguayan coast at the dawn of World War II.
stand out Admiral Graf Spee’s binocularswhich a crew member took before the ship was dynamited and the dress jacket of engineer corporal Gottfried Link, a crew member of the Third Reich ship.
The Titanic passenger’s letter was auctioned in Montevideo for 12 thousand dollars.
Said piece, as explained days ago Sebastian Zorrilla to the news agency EFEwas until now in the hands of the family and passed through three generations.
“There is always someone in families who decides to freeze history in an auction and have this piece that they treasure for a while and that we treasure momentarily end up in the hands of a collector or a museum,” he explained.
The letter, which had a base price of $12,000, was written by the 71-year-old farmer Ramon Artagaveytia Gomez, one of the three Uruguayans traveling on the RMS Titanic, and in this he told his brother that he wanted to reach North America and that he was “seduced” by the size of the “45,000-ton steamer” that was making its first voyage.
He had paid just over 49 pounds for the ticket, according to an article in the Uruguayan newspaper The Observer.
“When we approached yesterday on the steamer it was cool as the Río de la Plata, and when I looked up I had the effect of being at the foot of a five-story house. Upon entering there were about 50 waiters. One takes my bags, and by elevator (there are 3) we go up to my floor on deck B. The dining room is on deck D and there are others below,” the letter reads.
He also recounts that they were going to Queenstown (Ireland) to pick up correspondence, that I wanted to see North America and he recounts several details of the ship, among which he highlights that some rooms were made of sculpted wood, that the food was “very good” and that he had an electric stove in his bedroom.
“The corridors are painted white and some rooms, like this one, are made of carved wood, I think oak, with green velvety satin sofas and chairs. Everything is new and rich”, he emphasizes.
Little did he then know that he, who four decades earlier he had survived the fire and sinking of the ship América in the Río de la Plata, he would perish by drowning in the icy waters of the North Atlantic.
Two other Uruguayans were part of the tragic maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic from Southampton, England, to New York, as well as two Argentines, a Cuban and a Mexican, the only Latin Americans on board.
The letter, which all these years has remained in the possession of the descendants of Adolfo Artagaveytia Gómez, includes two pages with three handwritten pages, “originally a sheet of paper, with a damp stain,” according to the Zorrilla Subastas website.
It is accompanied by a photograph of an elegant gentleman with a cane and a hat, printed on a French postal letter, dated in Évian, France, on August 31, 1909, with the inscription: “A letter and a loving memory to my brother Adolfo. Ramon”.
A letter, and the memory of his last words, captured forever as part of the history of humanity.
(With information from EFE and AFP)
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