Tag Archives: Titanic violin

Titanic Notes

Wallace Hartley's Violin*Wallace Hartley’s violin will be on display at Titanic Pigeon Forge until mid-August.

*Lion Heart Autographs will be putting up for auction a custom card filled out by a Titanic survivor aboard Carpathia. The custom card was filled out by first class passenger Caroline Bonnell. The card is estimated auction price is $8,000-$10,000. They are also auctioning off ten telegrams related to the sinking of the Titanic including two from evangelist “Billy” Sunday. The estimated auction price for the telegrams is $3,000-$5,000. The auction is being conducted online through 15 June 2016.

*Believe it or not but there is something called Tourism Oscars reports Belfast Telegraph. And for the first time since these awards have around for 23 years, an Irish attraction called Belfast Titanic could possibly win the award.

Megan Ross, age 10, with her winning design for Nomadic's 105th anniversary cake. Photo: Belfast Live
Megan Ross, age 10, with her winning design for Nomadic’s 105th anniversary cake.
Photo: Belfast Live

*Megan Ross, age 10, won a contest to design the 105th anniversary cake for SS Nomadic Belfast Live reports.  Way to go Megan! She also won the opportunity for her class to visit the last remaining ship of the White Star Line.

*A celebrity recently, desiring for more attention or something, decided to be like Kate Winslet in James Cameron’s Titanic in baring her top in a selfie. Sorry but I do not see the guys racing to see this one.

*People visiting Titanic Belfast of late have been experiencing a very warm experience. Which apparently is bringing out a lot of people since it does not usually get near 70F/21C. Temperatures have soared up to 23C/74F.  Usually travelers are advised to bring a sweater, a jacket for rain or cool nights and an umbrella. You can skip the sweater but keep a jacket and umbrella handy. Weather Underground reports that rain is expected in the next few days. A perfect opportunity to slip inside a small place for some good company and food as well.

Wallace Hartley’s Sheet Music On Display In Belfast

Photo: Wikipedia

Sheet music carried by Wallace Hartley is on display at SS Nomadic in Belfast. David Scott-Beddard of White Star Memories Ltd tells Belfast Telegraph “Out of the musicians, his was the only body recovered and more than 30,000 people attended his funeral in Lancashire.” The exhibition includes a photo of Hartley from his school days and “a rare first-class accommodation plan, showing the dining room table layout, Turkish baths and gymnasium, and a stateroom bed, bed linen and dining room clock from Titanic’s sister ship, RMS Olympic.”

Source: A Titanic Exhibition Of True Note On SS Nomadic As Violinist’s Music Goes On Display(14 Nov 2013, Belfast Telegraph)

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Hartley Violin Auctioned Off For $1.6 Million

Wallace Hartley's ViolinThe Associated Press is reporting the Hartley Violin sold for $1.6 million today at the auction held by Henry Aldridge & Son. The amount sold sets a record for a Titanic artifact. The name of the buyer, who bid over the phone, wished to remain anonymous according to Andrew Aldridge.

Source: Titanic Violin Sells For More Than $1.6M At Auction(19 Oct 2013,Associated Press)

Hartley Violin Update: Daily Mail Declares Violin Authentic

Wallace Hartley's ViolinSarah Griffiths, writing for the UK Daily Mail, examines the history of the Hartley violin and the scientific tests taken to determine its authenticity. The various tests–a CT scan, forensic testing of the metal plate, examination of the wood–along with documentary evidence leads to the conclusion the violin is authentic. Additionally corrosion tests match submersion in seawater. Although the violin was not listed in his personal effects when his body was recovered, it is believed that it was regarded as luggage rather than a personal effect.

Henry Aldridge & Son claims it invested thousands in getting the violin authenticated. And when it goes on the auction block on 19 Oct, they expect to make it all back (and quite a bit more as well). The violin will likely set a new record if it sells for the estimated £4000,000. I suspect it will sell for a lot more than that.

Source: Violin That Was Played To Calm Passengers As Titanic Sank Undergoes CT Scan To Prove Authenticity Before Going To Auction(9Oct 2013,Daily Mail)

Hartley Violin Begins Belfast Exhibition Today

Wallace Hartley's ViolinThe violin Wallace Hartley had aboard Titanic is on display today at Titanic Belfast in the second-class accommodation suite until 13 October. This will be the last public showing of the violin as it is scheduled to be auctioned off on 19 October by auctioneers Henry Aldridge & Son. It is strongly advised you purchase admission tickets in advance.

Sources:
1. Violin Played On Titanic By Colne Musician, Wallace Hartley, To Go On Display In Belfast(18 Sep 2013, Lancashire Telegraph)
2. Titanic bandmaster’s on display at Titanic Belfast-Press Release(18 Sep 2013, Titanic Belfast)

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Titanic Newswrap For 3 Sep 2013

Wallace Hartley's Violin1. Hartley Violin Update: The Hartley Violin will be going on display next in Belfast in the replica second class accommodation suite from 18 Sept – 13 Oct 2013. It is scheduled to be auctioned by Henry Aldridge & Son later in October.
Source: Violin From Titanic To Be Exhibited(2 Sep 2013,Belfast Telegraph)

2. Titanic Exhibition Extended:The Grand Rapids Public Museum has extended again Titanic:The Artifact Exhibition one more week until Saturday, 14 Sep 2013.
Source:Titanic Exhibition At Grand Rapids Public Museum Extended A Second Time(3 Sep 2013,mlive.com)

3. You cannot make this up. According to This is Lincolnshire, RNLI lifeboat volunteers responded to a report three inflatable tender boats were in trouble. The found one of the boats was named Titanic and its occupants were trying to start the engine. After that failed, the group then attempted to tow the boat back to the beach as RNLI volunteers watched.
Source:Skegness RNLI Lifeboat Volunteers Involved In ‘Titanic’ Rescue(3 Sep 2013,This Is Lincolnshire.co.uk)

Hartley Violin Exhibit Extended At Titanic Branson

Wallace Hartley's ViolinThe Hartley Violin scheduled to end its exhibition at Titanic Branson on 15 Aug has been extended to 7 Sep 2013. According to KMOX news, 18,000 people have seen the violin already. Reservations are required for the daily VIP tour at 8:30 a.m. Further information can be found at titanicbranson.com.

Source: Iconic Titanic Violin Exhibit Extended At Branson Museum(14 Aug 2013,KMOX)

Hartley Violin Update: Coming To Titanic Branson In August

Wallace Hartley's ViolinThe Hartley Violin, the one Wallace Hartley possibly played on that fateful voyage, is on its American tour. Right now it is at Titanic Pigeon Forge through 27 Jul. Then goes over to Titanic Branson where it will be on display in August 1-15. Reservations are required and there is a daily vip tour (limited to 25 people). Usually they prohibit any cameras or videos of items exhibited but they are allowing people attending to take photos of the violin.

Source: Long Lost Titanic Violin In Branson(press release)(23 Jul 2013,PR Web)


Hartley’s Violin! Not So Fast Say Skeptics

Various newspapers are reporting that skepticism over the Hartley violin has arisen. To Wallace Hartleyrecap: Henry Aldridge & Sons auctioneers announced that after six years of forensic examination and detective work, they have authenticated a violin owned by Wallace Hartley and was found with his body in 1912. However Karen Kamuda of Titanic Historical Society and Nigel Hampson of Titanic in Lancashire Museum dispute it. Both point out that inventory of items shows no violin was found on his body.

No one is doubting that Hartley owned the violin but whether or not it was the one used aboard Titanic. Aldridge rebuts the charge by pointing out they conducted many tests on the violin (such as chemical), and uncovered a telegram from Maria Robinson to Nova Scotia officials thanking for the violin. Such tests would, I would assume, be available to the museums, exhibitions, and private collectors wanting to make sure the violin is genuine.

So what about the inventory? Well there are two plausible explanations. One is that no violin was found which would cast doubt on the violin in question. The second is that Nova Scotia officials altered the records so that no one would raise any question about a violin being handed over to Miss Robinson. The family likely knew (since she was engaged and purchased the violin for him) and did give her his other personal possessions. In truth, we will never know but the telegram certainly indicates the Nova Scotia officials gave her the violin.

Certainly though raising questions is a good thing to keep things honest in this whole process. While I can see some small operator trying to con a buyer, I doubt Aldridge would do this. The risks are too high with the entire world looking at it under a microscope.

Sources:
1. Authenticity Row Erupts After Violin Played Moments Before The Titanic Sank Is ‘Discovered’ (18 Mar 2013, The Independent)

2. Notes Of Discord Over Soundness Of ‘Titanic Violin’ (19 Mar 2013, Belfast Telegraph)

Violin From Band Who Played As The Titanic Sunk To Be Auctioned

Wallace Hartley’s violin is going to be auctioned off, reports the Daily Mail. The violin has Wallace Hartleyundergone 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