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Historic Violin Makes History Again

One of the most famous instruments in the world, the violin that reportedly played on the deck of the Titanic as it slowly sank into the North Atlantic set a world record for a single item of Titanic memorabilia.

Although the violin is no longer playable, a representative from Henry Aldridge & Son, the auction house that sold the violin and specializes in artifacts from the Titanic says he has never seen an article make people show so much emotion as this instrument.

The buyer paid nearly $1.7 million for the maple and spruce violin, which originally belonged to Wallace Henry Hartley, the bandleader who played on the deck of the ship in attempts to keep calm, along with seven other musicians. These musicians were among the 1,517 people who lost their lives after the ship hit an iceberg on April 14, 1912.

Henry Aldridge & Son spend seven years and tens of thousands of dollars investigating the authenticity of the violin, calling for the help of scientists, forensic experts and historians.

Several factors determined the violin’s genuineness – including a silver plate on the instrument with the engraving: “For Wallace, on the occasion of our engagement. From Maria.” Maria Robinson was Wallace’s fiancee, and wrote in her diary that the violin had been saved and returned to her.

Courtesy of the Washington Post
Image courtesy of the Associated Press

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