Titanic Violin Played As Ship Sank To Be Auctioned Next Month
By Jeff Stone | February 19, 2013 8:50 AM EST
A violin that was played as the Titanic sank 101 years ago will be put up for auction on April 20 and, if it's authenticated, could fetch more than the $340,000 paid for the blueprint of the doomed ship.
The violin is believed to have been owned by Wallace Hartley, who, according to The Daily Mail, was among the band that continued to play as the Titanic sank in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912. When the “unsinkable” vessel went down in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic, 1,502 people died.
Hartley and his fellow musicians have become legends in the century since the Titanic sank because they kept playing until they were waist-deep in the frothy waves, at which point they started to slip underwater. Their last song was the hymn, “Nearer, My God, To Thee.”
Media reports indicated that the violin was in a sealed bag strapped to Hartley’s chest, but when his family received his remains it was absent. The frozen bodies of Hartley and two other band members were recovered by lifeboats in the area.
His forlorn lover, a woman named Maria Robinson, whom Hartley was engaged to in 1910, died alone in 1939. It was then that the current owner claims he was given the violin, although that person remains anonymous.
Robinson apparently received the violin from Nova Scotia authorities later in 1912, as one of her diary entries from that year reads: “I would be most grateful to you if you could convey my heartfelt thanks to all who have made possible the return of my late fiancé’s violin. May I take this opportunity to express my appreciation to you personally for your gracious intervention on my behalf.”
The violin has survived seven years of authenticity testing, perhaps escalating the excitement level past the auction held on April 11, 2012.
“Other than retrieving the bow of the ship, this must be the most symbolic artifact of the Titanic sinking ever likely to be sold,” author Steve Turner, who discovered pictures of the violin, told The Mirror.
“Everyone concerned has been sworn to secrecy. Other than admitting to me the violin exists and that the photos I saw were genuine, the auctioneers won’t be giving out more information until an announcement is made about the sale.”
Below, a clip from the 1997 movie "Titanic" of the band playing as the ship went down:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Manny Pacquiao Vs. Chris Algieri World Tour Kick Off Press Conference In Macau [PHOTOS]
- Top 5 Richest Tennis Athletes
- Prince Harry & Camilla Thurlow Getting Serious, St. Tropez Holiday Before The Prince’s 30th Birthday [PHOTOS]
- Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt Heads to Malta For New Movie After A Whirlwind French Wedding [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- The Burka Avenger Educates Children While Fighting For Girls' Education Rights In New Pakistan TV Show
- Christopher Walken To Play Mob Boss In Film Adaptation Of Four Seasons Musical 'Jersey Boys'
- William Cantrell Mistakes Human Ashes For Cocaine, May Have Snorted Remains
- Giant Alligator Eats 80-Pound Dog In North Carolina, Gator May Still Be Alive
- Steve McQueen's Last Ride, 1952 Custom Chevy Pickup Truck, Hits The Auction Block
- Sept 19 iPhone 6 Release Date Firms Up as iWatch Rollout Delayed to Jan 2015 – Reports
- Apple iWatch is iPhone 6 Accessory on Sept 19 Release Date: 6 Confirmed Specs & Features
- Apple iOS 8 vs Android 5.0 L: OS Wars Puts Android to Lower while Apple to Higher
- Canada Vs Russia War Erupts Via Twitter on Russia-Not Russia Maps
- James Foley Torture Involves CIA Waterboarding Technique
- North Korea Banker Who Manages Money of Kim Jong-un Defects to Russia With $5 Million
- Malaysia Airlines to Axe 4,000 Employees, Including CEO; Suspends Trading of Shares