Titanic brooch with Jack, Rose-like love story up for auction

It’s a love story that lasted over a century.

Titanic survivor Roberta Maioni was just 20 years old when she struck up romance with a young gentleman steward aboard the ill-fated voyage.

The first-class passenger fell in love with an unnamed crew member who gave her a white brooch on the night the ocean liner sank.

Maioni lived in Norwich, England and died in 1963 at the age of 71. A private collector purchased the memento from members of her family more than two decades ago.

The trinket will soon be auctioned, along with Maioni’s typed account of the ship’s sinking – worth an additional $6,500 (£5,000). She wrote the diary entry in 1926.

While the pin is expected to fetch $78,000 (£60,000) at auction, the incredible love story behind the orb is priceless.

In the picture: the brooch with a picture of Roberta Maioni
Titanic survivor Roberta Maioni described her account aboard Titanic in a series of entries in 1926.
Zachary Culpin/BNPS
A photo of Maioni in the 1900s.
A photo of Maioni in the 1900s.
Zachary Culpin/BNPS

Reminiscent of James Cameron’s hit 1997 film Titanic, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, Maioni and the steward are said to have fallen in love before the ship crashed on the cold night of April 14.

“Throughout her life, Roberta is said to have told her family about surviving the Titanic and about the young steward she met on board,” said auctioneer Andrew Aldridge Daily Mail. “She is said to have fallen in love with him and he with her.”

A page from Maioni's account of her experience on the Titanic.
A page from Maioni’s account of her experience on the Titanic.
Haldridge & Son/BNPS
TITANIC, from left: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, 1997. Credit: Merie W. Wallace / TM and Copyright ©20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. Courtesy: Everett Collection.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in 1997’s Titanic.
© 20thCentFox/Courtesy of the Everett Collection

“Although she didn’t tell anyone his name – maybe because she was married at the time – she kept that little brooch,” he continued.

However, Maioni shared some details about the unnamed gentleman with her family.

“She told her family that the steward gave it to her, either as a token of love or as a reminder of him as he probably realized his fate,” Aldridge explained. “In any case, it’s an incredibly poignant item and one that has a direct connection to Titanic.”

A close-up of Maioni's Love white star-shaped brooch.
A close-up of Maioni’s Love white star-shaped brooch.
Zachary Culpin/BNPS
The brooch.
The brooch.
Zachary Culpin/BNPS

Maioni wrote in her journals that on the night of the tragedy she had heard music in the saloon before going to her cabin.

According to Maioni’s written account, the man sought her out as the ship began to sink and urged her to board Lifeboat No. 8 to ensure her safety.

As she climbed into the lifeboat, the man handed her the brooch from his uniform. She was rescued by the RMS Carpathia shortly after the boat sank.

Several other paper items written by Maioni will also be auctioned.
Zachary Culpin/BNPS
UK: RMS Titanic departs Southampton on April 10, 1912. (Photo by: Pictures from History/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
The Titanic ship sailed from Southampton, England on April 10, 1912 and sank after a few days at sea.
Images from History/Universal

She wrote: “I was about to get up when a steward came and said, ‘Miss, we’ve hit an iceberg, but I don’t think there’s any danger. If there are any, I’ll come back and let you know.’ After a few minutes the steward came back and told me not to be scared, just get dressed quickly, put on my lifebelt and go on deck.”

Once in a lifeboat, she donned a life jacket and they rowed to safety.

Cover letter Roberta wrote to the Daily Express for a story about her experience.
The cover letter Roberta wrote to the Daily Express concerned a story about her experience.
Haldridge & Son/BNPS
Maioni lived a full life after the tragedy. She died in 1963.
Maioni lived a full life after the tragedy. She died in 1963.
Zachary Culpin/BNPS

“Then I heard the terrible screams of the twelve hundred men, women and children who were left on her. And then there was a terrible silence, more terrible than the sounds before it,” Maioni recalled in her report.

The auction is scheduled to take place on April 23.

https://nypost.com/2022/04/11/brooch-dating-back-to-the-titanic-ship-goes-up-for-auction/ Titanic brooch with Jack, Rose-like love story up for auction

Dais Johnston

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