Auctions

By Jay Bigalke

'Titanic' mail facing slip to be auctioned Feb. 28

January 03, 2014 08:02 AM

  • One of an estimated 23 known mail facing slips from the RMS Titanic is set to be auctioned Feb. 28 in London by Argyll Etkin Limited.

A mail facing slip from the fateful voyage of the RMS Titanic will be auctioned at the end of February in London. The slip is offered with an estimated value of £6,000 to £8,000 (approximately $10,000 to $13,000).

British auction firm Argyll Etkin Limited will auction the item Feb. 28 at the Regus Conference Centre, No. 1 Northumberland Avenue, Trafalgar Square, London.

The story of the Titanic is well known. On its maiden voyage, the ship departed Southampton, England, destined for New York City. Late at night on April 14, 1912, the ship struck an iceberg and sank in the early morning hours on April 15. The disaster resulted in the deaths of 1,517 of the 2,228 passengers on board.

The mail facing slips used by the three American postal clerks on board the Titanic were placed on mail bundles to indicate their routing.

The mail slip to be auctioned was recovered from the shirt pocket from the body of American mail clerk Oscar Scott Woody.

The slip is marked with the handstamp “O.S. Woody,” a handstamp reading “Titanic,” and a ship postmark for the Titanic dated April 10, 1912. It also carries a header for “New York Foreign Mixed” mail and has a manuscript “6.”

The facing slips were prepared by Woody on April 10 upon the ship’s departure from Southampton.

The item is part of the Robin Gwynn RDP collection, described as “Europe & Africa wreck mail with Transatlantic [including] a ‘Titanic’ bag label, GB, France, Scandinavia, South & West Africa, Egypt & Palestine.”

According to a March 2012 article by Kendall C. Sanford on the subject of Titanic mail facing slips, published on the website www.titaniccovers.com, approximately 23 different facing labels are known from the Titanic.

Among the other Titanic ephemera items in the auction are original 1912 photographs of the ship and ship’s deck, a paper napkin souvenir in memory of those who lost their lives, and a 1917 check given to the Titanic Relief Fund.

For more information about the Titanic mail slip and other items in the Feb. 28 auction, visit the Argyll Etkin Limited website at www.argyll-etkin.com; write to 17 Waterloo Place, London SW1Y 4AR Great Britain; or e-mail philatelists@argyll-etkin.com.

Items from the Feb. 28 auction will be on display at the firm’s office and during the Feb. 19-22 Stampex show in London.