In 1912, Wallace Hartley was a thriving 33-year-old violinist who was hired on to the Titanic as the lead player in a group of musicians. Just a short time later, he and seven other musicians stayed on board and played music as the ship was going on. Some reports later indicated when Hartley’s body was found, his violin was also found strapped to his chest. In 2006 that violin was discovered in an attic, and after seven years of tests, it has been confirmed to be a Titanic artifact.
Through the years and years of tests, documents were able to help predict that the violin belonged to Hartley. Additionally, the precious violin was found to be covered in waters stains that were “compatible” with ocean water and a silver smith ascertained the plates on the violin were compatible to the time period. According to the AP, the violin was passed on to Hartley’s fiancée after his death and later exchanged hands several times before being found by the auction house Henry Aldridge & Son, a company which frequently works with items from the Titanic. The violin, however, is a unique find and should be worth a pretty penny, should the auction house choose to sell.
Last year marked the 100th Anniversary since the Titanic sank, a year that saw numerous instances of Titanic-oriented television programming, as well as the 3D release of James Cameron’s famous film, and even a special cruise commemorating the accident. It would have been a pretty sweet marketing move if Hartley’s violin could have been confirmed a year ago, but nonetheless, it will find a nice spot to rest—on display in Belfast very close to the place the Titanic was initially built.
Photo [email protected] Henry Aldridge