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Titanic victim's watch sells for £45,000 at auction in Dallas

By Staff Reporter

A pocket watch recovered from a passenger who died on the Titanic has sold at auction for $57,500 (£44,765).

Heritage Auctions said the timepiece, sold on Saturday in Dallas, had belonged to passenger Sinai Kantor.

Mr Kantor was a Russian immigrant who managed to get his wife Miriam into a lifeboat before perishing in the frigid waters after the Belfast-built liner hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage.

Mr Kantor's body was pulled from the Atlantic and he was buried in New York.

The watch was bought by John Miottel, a collector of timepieces connected to the 1912 tragedy.

He operates the Miottel Museum in San Francisco and owns timepieces from Titanic victims John Jacob Astor, then the richest man in the world, as well as Oscar Woody, the liner's US postal clerk.

Miottel also owns a watch from the person who received the distress call from the doomed ship.

Harold Thomas Cottam was wireless operator on rescue ship RMS Carpathia.

The Swiss-made open-face silver-on-brass watch, with its original movement and a diameter of three inches, has numerals which are Hebrew letters.

The back cover has an embossed design that shows Moses holding the Ten Commandments.

The pocket watch was sold by a direct descendant of Miriam and Sinai Kantor.

Both were from Vitebsk in Russia.

He was 34 years old and she 24 when he paid £26 (£2,822 in today's money) for ticket No. 244367.

The two were among 285 second class passengers and boarded the ship together in the Port of Southampton.

The couple were university graduates.

Sinai Kantor was a furrier and intended to sell trunks of furs to fund the couple's goal to each study dentistry and medicine when they arrived and settled in the Bronx in New York.

That was until their lives were shattered in the early hours of April 15, 1912.

After the Titanic collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic, Miriam was ushered onto lifeboat 12, one in which men were prohibited from entering because of a 'women and children first' protocol for loading lifeboats.

Roughly 30 passengers were in the lifeboat when it was lowered off the port side, but survivors made room for about 30 more.

According to official reports, it was the last boat to reach RMS Carpathia after 8am.

A cable repair ship, the CS Mackay-Bennett, arrived eight days later to recover as many bodies as possible.

Sinai Kantor's remain were pulled from the icy waters during the gruelling seven-day operation.

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