It was only recently that the public auctioning of the letter on the
cover made the headlines. Written on an RMS Titanic letterhead, it
was rescued from the shipwreck, after it had sunk into the icy
Atlantic along with the lifeless body of its bearer. Some twenty
four hours earlier, he was enjoying his bourbon in the first-class
lounge while writing to his mother in total excitement his
impressions of what up until then seemed to be a dream-voyage.
The letter was subsequently handed over to the addressee, the
ill-fated mother. However, it was not transported by any postal
service, so it had nothing to do with any postal work. As such, it
cannot be classified as a postal history document.
On the other hand, there is quite a number of postal history items
which, although poor in postal features, are quite rich in either
historical or social or economic or cultural content.
In the Titanic letter, where the postal part is totally absent, the
dilemma was great. Its presentation in Philotelia's pages may mean a
direct violation of the rules. But can you resist such a
letter-document of one of the most dramatic peaceful events of the
20th century? And, seriously, can you ignore it when the
auctioneer's gavel sold it at 126,000 British pounds?