Played by the bandmaster of the famous ship, a violin used on the Titanic is estimated to be sold for £400,000 at a British auction.
As part of a seven year in-depth investigation, the iconic instrument even went under a CT scan to prove its authenticity before it could be sold as a key piece of Titanic memorabilia.
The violin was owned by Wallace Henry Hartley, who was reported to have played the instrument along with other musicians as the ship began to sink in order to calm other passengers.
With the German-made violin now unplayable due to moisture damage, interested buyers will also be bidding for its leather valise bag, personalized with the bandmaster’s initials, as well as several stained sheets of ragtime music found within the bag after the disaster in 1912.
The rare item was discovered in 2006 when the son of an amateur violin player discovered that his father had received it from a music teacher in the 1940s. Recently it was on public displayed at Titanic Belfast, the world’s largest visitor attraction based on the history of the ship and a popular location to visit for those on Northern Ireland tours.
No member of Wallace Hartley’s band who boarded the RMS Titanic survived when it sank in April 1912, with many of those who did survive testifying that the band had stayed on board until the very end, with their last piece being ‘Nearer my God to thee’.
Previous items sold at auctions that were on the ship include two menus for first-class passengers celebrating the launch of the Titanic, which were sold for £100,000. Also, a collection of more than 5,500 rare artifacts recovered from the wreck during a 5 year expedition, including porcelain dishes and pieces of cutlery, were recently sold for $189 million.
For those who don’t want a pay a fortune however, there’s several Titanic monuments and exhibitions available to view in Belfast, where the ship took sail from on its voyage from Southampton to New York. As well as providing the opportunity to view some rare items which were on board the ship, there’s also the option to explore the dock, which was the last place the Titanic rested on dry ground, which has become a popular hotspot for those on Belfast tours.