A United States Series 1899 silver dollar certificate, 7.5 x 3.25, signed and inscribed by S.S. Titanic survivor August H. Weikman, “This note was in my pocket when picked up out of the sea by ‘S.S. Carpathia’ from the wreck of ‘S.S. Titanic’ April 15th 1912/A.H. Weikman/Palmyra, N.J.” Small separations along the three vertical folds, scattered light foxing, soiling, a few small chips to edges, a couple small pinpricks to body, otherwise very good condition.
The fifty-year-old Weikman, a resident of Ivybank, Southampton, England, was one of three barbers on board the S.S. Titanic and the only one to survive the disaster. He provided a gripping first-person account of the tragedy in testimony before the US Senate Committee that investigated the tragedy, in part: “I was sitting in my barber shop on Sunday night, April 14, 1912 at 11:40 p.m. when the collision occurred…. I went to the main deck and saw some ice laying there. Orders were given, ‘All hands to man the lifeboats….’ I helped to launch the boats…. I was proceeding to launch the next boat when the ship sank at the bow and there was a rush of water that washed me overboard and therefore the boat was not launched by human hands…. I was about 15 feet away from the ship when I heard a second explosion. I think the boilers blew up in about the middle of the ship…. The explosion blew me along with a wall of water towards…a bundle of deck chairs, which I managed to climb on. While on the chairs I heard terrible groans and cries coming from people in the water.” Weikman was one of few lucky survivors later picked up by the R.M.S. Carpathia. The present item is believed one of only two or three such certificates signed by Weikman in existence. Weikman, who had made the Atlantic crossing with the idea of taking up residence in Philadelphia, died in Palmyra, New Jersey in 1924 and is buried in Morgan Cemetery. Perhaps needless to say, fully documented Titanic artifacts of this nature are of exceeding scarcity. Provenance: Previously sold at Butterfield and Butterfield; Fine Books and Manuscripts 1999 sale, Los Angeles, being lot 7394. RRAuction COA.