|Titanic Fever Continues as Original Letter is Auctioned via Amazon.com Livebid Auctions|
The last of three unique, historical items is made available for live, online consumer bidding
SEATTLE, Oct. 15, 1999-- Profiles in History of Beverly Hills, California, will use Amazon.com LiveBid Auctions to auction a letter, hand-written on RMS Titanic stationery. The letter was written by Father Thomas R.D. Byles, the figure that led the final benediction as the famous ship sank. Valued in excess of $100,000, the letter will be auctioned during the company's first-ever auction of historical manuscripts on Wednesday, October 20 at 5 p.m. PST.
Father Byles was en route to officiate his brother's wedding in New York when the ship sank. By some accounts, he was offered a seat on a lifeboat but refused. Instead, Father Byles guided passengers to the lifeboats and provided solace to those who went down with the ship. Addressed to his housekeeper and mailed from Ireland just days before the ship sank, the letter describes the ship in all of its glory.
In other recent Amazon.com LiveBid Auctions of RMS Titanic artifacts, Hart Galleries of Houston, Texas, sold an original surviving luncheon menu from the RMS Titanic for $65,000. Similarly, TW Conroy & Associates in Baldwinsville, New York sold a pair of rare and beautiful lamps for $40,000 that were removed from the RMS Titanic during a systems check just before it set sail.
In addition to the one-of-a-kind letter, Profiles in History, the nations leading dealer of original historical autographs, also will auction 150 historical manuscripts and signed documents. The lots include letters from American presidents and statesmen; scientists and inventors; celebrated authors; artists and composers; aviators and explorers; sports heroes and Hollywood legends.
Using Amazon.com LiveBid Auctions, Internet participants can bid in real time with auction attendees via a live Web cast. Interested Internet bidders can easily pre-register at http://amazon.livebid.com by clicking on the Profiles in History auction. The deadline for Internet registration is Tuesday, October 19 at 5 p.m. PST. A complete catalogue of auction items is available on the site.
"The RMS Titanic made an indelible impression on 20th century history," said Matt Williams, director of live auctions, Amazon.com Auctions. "We are honored to again make history by bringing these rare and treasured items to our customers via the Internet."
"Of this particular letterhead, there are only five other examples known to have been offered publicly in the past 25 years, and none are from persons as well-known as Father Byles," said Joseph Maddalena, president/owner of Profiles in History. "Without question, this letter is the single most important Titanic item ever offered for sale."
About Amazon.com, Inc.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), and its subsidiaries ("Amazon.com") are the Internet's No. 1 music, No. 1 video, and No. 1 book retailer. Amazon.com opened its virtual doors on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection with online auctions, toys, electronics, free electronic greeting cards, and more than 4.7 million book, music-CD, video, DVD, and computer-game titles. Amazon.com seeks to be the world's most customer-centric company, where people can find and discover anything they may want to buy online. As part of its efforts to provide the best shopping experience for customers, Amazon.com provides secure credit-card payment, personalized recommendations, streamlined ordering through 1-Click technology, and hassle-free auction bidding with Bid-Click.
Amazon.com operates two international Web sites: www.amazon.co.uk in the United Kingdom and www.amazon.de in Germany. Amazon.com also operates PlanetAll (www.planetall.com), a Web-based address book, calendar, and reminder service. It also operates the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com), the Web's comprehensive and authoritative source of information on more than 150,000 movies and entertainment programs and 500,000 cast and crew members dating from the birth of film in 1892 to the present. Amazon.com also operates LiveBid.com (www.livebid.com), the sole provider of live-event auctions on the Internet.
In addition, Amazon.com has invested in leading Internet retailers that are improving the lives of customers by making shopping easier and more convenient: drugstore.com, an online retail and information source for health, beauty, wellness, personal care and pharmacy, at www.drugstore.com; Pets.com, the online leader for pet products, expert information and services, at www.pets.com; HomeGrocer.com, the first fully integrated Internet grocery-shopping and home-delivery service, with operations in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, at www.homegrocer.com; Gear.com, which offers brand name sporting goods at prices from 20% to 90% off retail, at www.gear.com.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, Amazon.com's limited operating history, anticipated losses, unpredictability of future revenues, potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, seasonality, consumer trends, competition, risks of system interruption, management of potential growth, risks related to auction services, and risks of new business areas, international expansion, business combinations, and strategic alliances. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1998 and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 1999 and June 30, 1999.