Wallace Hartley’s violin is going to be auctioned off, reports the Daily Mail. The violin has undergone extensive scientific tests to determine its authenticity. So far, the violin has proved genuine but final tests confirming authenticity are still being done. The anonymous seller claims Maria Robinson, Hartley’s bereaved fiancé, retrieved the violin after his death. Hartley’s body and two other musicians were recovered and taken to Nova Scotia by CS Mackay-Bennett. Hartley’s body was returned to England and buried in Colne.
The violin, which reportedly was strapped to his body at time of recovery, was not itemized with his effects when his body was returned. It led to speculation that someone had taken the violin. Henry Aldridge and Son, who has auctioned off many Titanic items in the past, is the auctioneer for the violin. The Daily Mail reports the auctioneer has spent considerable money to have the violin authenticated. If authentic, it would command a very high price at auction. It might even, as some speculate, be the most expensive Titanic artifact ever auctioned (not counting of course the possible sale of the entire artifact collection from RMS Titanic).
Supporting evidence for the claim comes from Miss Robinson’s diary where she has a draft letter thanking the Nova Scotia authorities for allowing her to have the violin. The violin itself has an inscription on its tailpiece that says: “For Wallace on the occasion of our engagement from Maria.”
I hope the violin is authentic. It is a genuine piece of history and a reminder of love—and loss.
Source: Daily Mail, Violin From Band Who Played As The Titanic Sunk To Be Auctioned, 17 Feb 2013