Iconic Titanic Violin Sells For A Record $1.45 Million USD



One of the most poignant memory recalled by some of the 900 survivors from 885-feet long luxury liner Titanic that sank on April 15th 1912, was that of the orchestra playing the hymn "Nearer, My God, to Thee", to try calm the panicked passengers as they made their way to the lifeboats.

Though none of the seven-member band survived, what surprisingly did, was a violin that was being played by their leader, Wallace Hartley. Found strapped to his chest inside a leather luggage case that bore his initials initials W.H.H, it was even Inscribed with a message from his fiancé to mark their engagement.

As seems to be the case for many of these ancient treasures, the violin disappeared for many decades. Then in 2006, it was discovered in an attic in a house in Northwest England. After many years, its authenticity was finally proved and the iconic instrument was put up for bidding in Southwest England on Saturday, October 19th, 2013, by Titanic specialist auctioneers, Henry Aldridge and Son.

While the bidding purportedly started at a mere $80 USD, the auctioneers had in reality set a reserve or minimum price of between $323,000-$484,000 for the precious artifact. But even that proved to be too low as buyers frantically bid up the iconic piece to over $500,000 USD within just a few minutes.

At that price most bidders dropped out and the 200 people that were present at the auction waited with abated breath to see which of the two remaining telephone bidders would get the coveted instrument. Ten minutes after it all began, the verdict was in - The fateful bandmaster's violin had been sold for an astounding $1.45million USD, way surpassing the previous highest price of $350,000 USD paid for a piece of memorabilia from the Titanic.

Dubbed 'The ship of dreams', the Titanic was a luxury cruise liner like no other. Considered an engineering marvel in 1912, it was not only the largest ship to ever grace the seas, but also, featured unrivaled grandeur and amenities. Not surprisingly, its inaugural and only passenger list, included some of the world's most powerful and wealthiest people. It is therefore not surprising that the sinking of the 50,000-ton behemoth after hitting an iceberg within days of its launch, continues to capture the interest and imagination of people all over the world, till today.

Resources: aljazeera.com, news.yahoo.com

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  • a dorkWednesday, December 21, 2016 at 6:26 am
    wow just wow
    • hlissow
      hlissowTuesday, November 22, 2016 at 9:32 am
      I went to see the violin in the museum.It is really coll.
      • bluejems
        bluejemsWednesday, November 2, 2016 at 6:00 pm
        This is so cool! And I agree with magnificentm. I also wish I had that. I think a Violin from a sunken ship would worth $1.45 million dollars because it was from the Titanic.
        • owl96
          owl96Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 8:54 am
          I think this article is pretty cool! But how can such an old violin survive? They are supposed to break sometime.
          • hlissow
            hlissowTuesday, November 22, 2016 at 9:35 am
            Good point.
          • starbucks_loveWednesday, March 23, 2016 at 9:23 am
            I want that SO BAD!!
            • alienFriday, October 16, 2015 at 8:07 am
              A violin for $1.45 million?!
              • pugluvr88
                pugluvr88Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 9:14 am
                so amazingly beautilful
                • genius1326
                  genius1326Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 5:40 am
                  Cool, but I like the cello better, since I play it.
                  • turtlenicole
                    turtlenicoleThursday, October 8, 2015 at 6:49 pm
                    good for you:) being passionate about your instrument is great! Keep up your hard work!
                    • greece_eu
                      greece_euMonday, April 11, 2016 at 3:00 pm
                      I play the clarinet and cello. #CelloLove
                    • sushi321
                      sushi321Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 2:32 pm
                      i play the flute.
                    • lllFriday, May 8, 2015 at 1:14 pm
                      cool beans
                      • vghFriday, May 1, 2015 at 1:27 pm