• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2073

    Ocean Liner

    25 June 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 76

    A facing slip from a postal clerk on board R.M.S. Titanic

    APRIL 10, 1912

    Price Realised  


    A facing slip from a postal clerk on board R.M.S. Titanic
    April 10, 1912
    recovered from the body of Oscar Woody and stamped with his name. This slip marked mail going to "X New York (D.P.O.) N.Y./From Sea Post Letters", and bears the postmark of the "Trans Atlantic Post Office/AP 10/12 - TITANIC/O.S. WOODY"
    5 in. x 3 1/8 in. (12.7 cm. x 8 cm.)

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    Facing slips were used on board royal mail ships (RMS) to mark bundles of mail by their destination. They allowed the postal clerks to organize mail and account for any sorting errors. As required by the postal service, Woody stamped his name on his slips so that any errors in sorting could be charged to him. Oscar Woody was celebrating his 44th birthday with his colleagues when the R.M.S. TITANIC struck the iceberg. The postal clerks rushed to the mail sorting room to begin hauling the registered mail sacks to the upper decks in an attempt to save them from the flooding. None of the five mail clerks on board the TITANIC survived the accident.