The famous violin played by bandleader Wallace Henry Hartley as the Titanic sank sold Oct. 19, 2013, at Henry Aldridge & Son in England for over $1.7 million, including taxes and buyer's premium (1.1 million British pounds). It is the highest price ever paid for a piece of Titanic memorabilia. The violin case with the violin was reportedly strapped to the bandleader's body when the body was recovered a few days after the 1912 sinking. There was an engraved silver plate on the base that says, "For Wallace on the occasion of our engagement, from Maria." After the sinking, the violin was returned to Hartley's fiancée, Maria Robinson, then given to the Salvation Army in 1939, then to a violin teacher, then to a violin student who was the mother of the last owner. The violin was rediscovered in 2006 in a British attic. It is unplayable.
Photo: Henry Aldridge & Son