Walking cane once owned by controversial Titanic survivor comes to auction in Cornwall

Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon’s malacca cane.

A walking cane once owned by Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon (1862-1931), a controversial Titanic survivor, is to be offered at auction in Cornwall.

Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Laura Chesters

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The Briggs of London malacca cane, bearing a Charles Cooke 1904 London assay marked 12.5ct gold knop, is inscribed Cosmo Duff Gordon Travellers Club.

It was given to Duff-Gordon’s housekeeper Isabella Whale in 1931 following his death. It passed by descent to her great-grandson who has consigned it to sale at Clarks Auction Rooms in Liskeard.

The cane is offered with an estimate of £300-500 at Clarks’ January 1 Collectables, Antiques, Silver and Jewellery auction.

Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon. Image via Wikimedia Commons.
Image licence.

Duff-Gordon and his famous fashion designer wife Lady Duff-Gordon (1863-1935), survived the Titanic disaster in 1912 but in the aftermath were accused of buying their way off the boat, a story inflamed by the media at the time.

Duff-Gordon, whose family founded the Duff-Gordon sherry bodega in Spain in the 18th century, protested against the slur but they remained tainted by the incident for the rest of their lives.