Titanic violin could fetch record price at auction
The guide price for the violin is £300,000 making it the single most valuable piece of Titanic memorabilia, which has yet come to the market
The violin that was played to calm passengers on the Titanic as the giant liner sank is to be auctioned in Wiltshire later.
Bandleader Wallace Hartley, who died along with 1,517 others as the ship went down played it, it has a guide price of £300,000. Other items up for sale include his sheet music and the bag he kept it in.
Auctioneer Alan Aldridge said the violin was the “rarest and most iconic” piece of Titanic memorabilia. It has taken seven years for the auction house, Henry Aldridge & Son, to authenticate the instrument using several experts.
The Titanic violin
The German-made violin was an engagement gift to Wallace Hartley from his fiancée Maria Robinson
A violin was not on the inventory of items found with Mr. Hartley’s body
The violin underwent a CT scan to check its composition and any damage
The auctioneers declared its authenticity in March
These included using forensic science experts who are said to have found the wood still contained salt deposits from the seawater. Some people still doubt whether the violin is the genuine article and believe it could not have survived being submerged in seawater.
But is claimed the violin survived in a leather case strapped to Mr. Harley’s body who was found wearing his cork and linen lifejacket. A diary entry by his fiancée, Maria Robinson, said it was saved from the water and returned to her.
Following her death in 1939, the violin was given to her local Salvation Army citadel and was later passed on to the current anonymous owner’s mother in the early 1940s.
The auction house said it had attracted interest from collectors all over the world and added that more than 315,000 people viewed it during a three-month exhibition in the United States.
The auction is due to start at 13:00 BST 19th October 2013 in Devizes.