Titanic bandleader belongings achieve over £170k at auction

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2015-06-26 10:27:22

Titanic bandleader belongings achieve over £170k at auction

Items relating to Wallace Hartley, the musician who famously led the Titanic band to play on as the ship sank, have sold at auction for over £170,000 in total.

Henry Aldridge & Son, specialist auctioneers of Titanic memorabilia, held an auction devoted to the doomed ocean liner on April 20.

The selection of Hartley effects was a greatly anticipated highlight. He and the band are historic characters, remembered as heroes who sacrificed their lives for the sake of others.

The only known example of a letter written by Hartley from the ship sold for £93,000, above a £50,000-£60,000 estimate. In it, Hartley writes to his parents about the ‘fine ship’, upon which ‘there ought to be plenty of money’. He also mentions the ‘fine band’ and that ‘the boys seem very nice’.

A locket containing a photograph of Hartley that once belonged to his bereaved fiancée Maria Robinson sold for £2,000. Hartley’s silver cigarette case sold for £8,000, and his gold ring matched this price. A pair of silver scissors belonging to the musician achieved £7,500.

A violin that came to light last year has been confirmed by experts and scientific tests as the very violin that Hartley was playing as the Titanic sank, strapped to his body as he went under, and found still attached when his body was recovered.

It will remain on display at the Henry Aldridge auction house prior to the sale of the next part of the Wallace Hartley collection. It is expected to fetch into six figures when it comes to auction.

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