Violin on Titanic sells for $1.7 million
The instrument, which was played as passengers rushed to lifeboats, is the most expensive item from the doomed ship.
The violin that was played by a member of the Titanic's band as passengers rushed to lifeboats sold for $1.7 million at an auction in the UK. The name of the buyer was not released.
The Titanic violin (pictured) had been pulled from the waters on the back of Wallace Hartley, the ship's bandleader and the violin's owner. The memorabilia is the most expensive of all the items that have come from the doomed ship.
"Hartley's body was reportedly pulled from the water days after the April 1912 sinking with his violin case still strapped to his back.
In 2006, the damaged violin was found in the attic of a home in Britain.
It was authenticated through testing of salt water deposits, according to a statement released by Henry Aldridge and Son, which hosted the auction in Wiltshire, England.
The violin was adorned with an engraved silver plate that connected it to Hartley."
After the sinking, the Titanic wreckage was discovered by explorers in 1985 off the coast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Since that time, there have been numerous recovery expeditions, during which other artifacts have been recovered, including silverware, cups, clothes and parts of the ship itself.
CNN reports that in 2004, "Guernsey's auctioned off memorabilia from the Titanic and a few artifacts that had been passed down through the families of survivors." An original menu, for example, sold for about $100,000.
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Always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. If compare yourself to others you will become vain and bitter.
I am a violinist. When a violin even gets exposed to humidity, the wood swells and causes problems. If a violin (or any stringed instrument) goes uncared for in any way too long (like being stored an attic, for example!), the sensitive wood would be permanently damaged causing warping, severe cracking and possibly irreparable damage. This is all due to simple air temperature and humidity/dew point changes. I live in Minnesota, and the extreme temperatures and climate are very challenging to deal with as we must take our instruments in and out all year long. I have a climate-controlled case to store and protect my violin, but there is no way that technology existed in 1912. The cases from that era were mere wooden boxes with a hook to hold it shut. (I know, I have one!) Not air tight, not water-tight. I hate to be so skeptical of this wonderful find, but how in the world did this violin survive days in the ocean, especially in salt water yet as well? And then...90+ years lost in an attic somewhere? Not only survive, but look in the beautiful condition it does? Hmmm.....
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