Sunday, March 17, 2013

If violins could talk…

…this one would tell us whether the band really played "Nearer my God to Thee" as the Titanic was sinking on the night of April 14, 1912. Auctioneer Andrew Aldrich has spent the last 7 years proving the authenticity of the instrument. American collector Craig Sopin comments,"Popular belief is that the violin was lost or ferreted away but sometimes miracles happen and it has here. As far as Titanic memorabilia is concerned it is the most important piece that has ever come up and that includes artefacts recovered from the seabed such as the crow's nest bell." In the hands of an anonymous violin teacher, its provenance has been traced back to the Salvation Army and from there to the fiancée of the bandleader to whom it had been delivered after it was recovered from the scene of the disaster. Analysis of the silver plate on the violin and forensic testing showing that it has been immersed in saltwater verify that it was the instrument played by Walter Hartley and found strapped to his drowned body after the ship went down.

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