Rare Titanic Cover Find

Sandafayre discovered an extremely rare item of Titanic postal history, an envelope bearing French stamps and a “TITANIC” cachet which was intended for the liner’s original maiden voyage.

Titanic’s maiden voyage was infact originally scheduled for the 20th March 1912, but was postponed until the 10th April because the liner was not ready to put to sea. Four days later Titanic struck an iceberg and sank off the coast of Newfoundland with the loss of 1503 lives. Found in a carton lot from North America consigned to auction, the cover was posted in Bordeaux, bears one French “Sower” 5c and two 10c stamps and carries the distinctive “TITANIC” cachet hand stamped in violet. The cover is one of only three of its kind to be found (one is in private hands, the other in a prized exhibit at the Manitoba Museum of the Titanic), all from the same Washington correspondence with a US arrival postmark and the White Star Line’s company boxed received/date hand stamp. Andrew Morris of Sandafayre takes up the story, “For her original March maiden voyage, Titanic was due to call at Cherbourg in France for passengers and mail. Mail bound for the USA was hand stamped with a violet straight line “TITANIC” (37×6 mm) presumably at the White Star offices in Cherbourg, as she was the next ship due to make the crossing. When she failed to make the March crossing the mail was switched to another White Star liner, one of six others that hosted joint American an British Post Offices”. “Original covers from the Titanic are rare; those that come to the market are fiercely contested at auction by bidders, private & institutional, from both sides of the Atlantic. This cover is probably rarer than those that actually travelled on the Titanic” and was sold in the Sandafayre #550 sale, closing on Tuesday 30th January 2001.

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