Fur coat worn by Titanic survivor when she was rescued from lifeboat sells for £150,000 at auction

Telegraph Reporters
A fur worn by stewardess Mabel Bennett, who wore the heavy coat for protection from the cold as she boarded a lifeboat, sells for £150,000 - PA

A fur coat worn by a first class stewardess on the Titanic during her rescue has sold at auction for £150,000.

Mabel Bennett was in her nightdress when the liner began to sink after hitting an ice berg on her maiden voyage in 1912 with the loss of more than 1,500 passengers and crew.

But she put on the beaver lamb fur coat she owned to keep her warm as she boarded lifeboat No 5.

A fur coat which helped keep a Titanic survivor warm in the aftermath of the disaster has been unearthed 105 years later.  Credit: HAldridge/BNPS

Mrs Bennett, who was 33 at the time, died aged 96 in 1974 and was the longest living female member of the crew.

She passed the coat to her great niece in the 1960s as she found it too heavy to wear.

The fur coat and letter of provenance went under the hammer on Saturday at an auction at Henry Aldridge and Son in Devizes, Wiltshire.

The auctioneers said: "This stunning coat is unique in that not only was it a personal possession of a Titanic crew member that was worn….but, to our knowledge, represents the only piece of exceptionally well provenance clothing from Titanic to ever come to auction.”

Mabel Bennett was in her nightdress when the Titanic rescue started and grabbed the fur coat for warmth. Credit: PA

The coat had been on display in America after it was sold by her family in 1999.

The full length coat was bought by a bidder in the room – and sold for a lot more than the estimate of £50,000 to £80,000.

The auctioneer said the coat had a ‘lovely, lovely history’ and said it brought a family back together after they had broken up as a result of the disaster.

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