Helen Churchill Candee owned the flask, which was engraved with her family’s coat of arms and ominous motto, “Faithful but unfortunate.”
But Kent perished and his belongings, including the flask were returned to his wife, who subsequently returned the flask to Churchill Candee, who had survived the disaster.
“The flask is badly out of shape,” the widow wrote in a letter to Churchill Candee, a prolific author and pioneer of women’s rights, who had been returning to the United States after her son was injured in an air crash.
The flask remained in Churchill Candee’s family until 2005, when it was sold by UK-based Henry Aldridge & Son, regarded as a leading authority on all things Titanic. Emerging again for sale this year, the flask attracted bids from around the world by telephone and online. The winning bid came from an unidentified private buyer in Britain.