$1.7 Million for Violin Played as Titanic Sank


London (CNN) — A violin played by the Titanic’s musical conductor as the ship sank sold at auction Saturday for more than $1.7 million, a UK-based auction house said.

The violin is believed to have fetched a record price for Titanic memorabilia, selling for 1.1 million British pounds when adding the buyer’s premium and tax, according to a statement released by Henry Aldridge and Son, which hosted the auction in Wiltshire, England.

According to survivors’ accounts William Hartley’s band played to calm passengers even as the ship sank beneath them.

The scene was depicted in James Cameron’s blockbuster movie “Titanic,” which depicted Hartley and his band playing “Nearer, My God, to Thee” as the ship took on water.

Hartley’s body was reportedly pulled from the water days after the April 1912 sinking with his violin case still strapped to his back.

In 2006, the damaged violin was found in the…

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