Violin set to make Titanic sum at Devizes auction
The violin confirmed to have belonged to the leader of the band that played while the Titanic went down is expected to make a record-breaking sum when it is auctioned in Devizes next week.
It is expected to be the most expensive single item to have been sold at auction house Henry Aldridge & Son in Bath Road. The violin, which has been on show around the world, is likely to make a six-figure sum on October 19.
It belonged to Wallace Hartley, who was one of the 1,500 who died in the disaster in April 1912.
He led the band as they played on to keep up the spirits of those passengers who were unable to get onto the inadequate number of lifeboats aboard the “unsinkable” liner.
Acknowledged Titanic expert Henry Aldridge & Son commissioned research to establish that the violin is incontrovertibly the one found floating on the surface of the Atlantic Ocean the day after the sinking.
The violin bears a plaque saying: “For Wallace on the occasion of our engagement, from Maria.”
The instrument returns to Devizes on Tuesday after being shown to audiences all over the world. It has appeared at Titanic museums in Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, in the United States and at the Titanic Belfast Centre in the city of the liner’s birth.
Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said: “Hundreds of thousands of people have seen the violin. On the way to Devizes from Belfast, it will be on display in Wallace Hartley’s home town of Dewsbury for six hours on Monday before it comes to our salerooms the next day where it will be on show until the day of the sale.”
The epoch-making sale comes in the wake of the auctions on August 10 and September 21, when items from the 1904 Younghusband expedition to Nepal together fetched around £140,000.
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