This violin was unsinkable.
A rosewood violin played by bandmaster Wallace Hartley on the Titanic deck as the ship sank has been confirmed as authentic by investigators, and could soon be brought to auction. The cracked, water-damaged instrument is easily one of the most significant artifacts from the century-old tragedy.
“When we first saw the violin, we had to keep a lid on our excitement, because it was almost as if it was too good to be true,” said Titanic auctioneer Andrew Aldridge, of Henry Aldridge and Son, who spent seven years of research to confirm its authenticity.
“It is the most important artifact relating to the Titanic to ever emerge, and probably the most valuable.”
It’s worth six figures, and will likely be sold in the near future. For now, however, it will be exhibited in the town of Devizes, in Wiltshire, England. The instrument was found inside a leather valise, engraved with Hartley’s initials, that was strapped to his body. The violin, an engagement gift from Hartley’s fiancée, Maria Robinson, was submerged in the salt water for 10 days, until his body was recovered.
(Also see TAM ShellyM’s post in TAM Wire!)