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Titanic violin sold for £900,000

The violin reputedly played by the Titanic's bandmaster as the ship sank has been sold at auction. Credit: Tim Ireland/PAWire/Press Association Images

The violin, which was played to calm passengers, as the Titanic sank has sold for a record-breaking nine hundred thousand pounds.

It was played by band leader Wallace Hartley from Dewsbury, who died as the ship went down. The previous record price for Titanic memorabilia sold for less than a fifth of the price.

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Titanic violin goes on display

It's being hailed as one of the most important artefacts ever recovered from the Titanic. The violin which was being played by Dewsbury musician and band leader Wallace Hartley as the ship sank was discovered in an attic in Bridlington and is now going on public display.

The instrument belonged to Mr Hartley fiance's and was stored at her home for almost 100 years. Claire Ashforth reports.

Titanic hero auction

Personal effects belonging to a hero of the Titanic disaster have fetched more than £170,000 at auction. Band leader Wallace Hartley, from Huddersfield, carried on playing his violin to the bitter end whilst the vessel sank.

A letter he had written earlier to his mother on Titanic headed notepaper, raised £93,000 alone at an auction in Wiltshire. A locket containing his picture and belonging to his fiancee Maria Robinson , from Bridlington, fetched £2000.

Poignant: letter home from Wallace Hartley Credit: Henry Aldridge and Son
Locket belonging to fiancee Marie Robinson Credit: Henry Aldridge and Son

A silver cigarette case and a gold ring fetched £8,000 apiece, with a pair of silver scissors raising just over £7,500. The response was described by auctioneers Henry Alrdidge and Son as "absolutely fantastic", with bidders coming from all over the world.

cigarette case fetched £8,000 Credit: Henry Aldridge and Son
Medal up for sale Credit: Henry Aldridge and Son

Meanwhile, a violin recently confirmed as the instrument belonging to Wallace Hartley has been put on public display, after laying in a in an attic in Bridlington for a century. It was given to his fiancee Maria Robinson.

It was only last month that tests confirmed it as the iconic instrument, and it is now on display at the Henry Aldridge auction house in Wiltshire who said it was only right that the violin should be seen and appreciated - and not locked away in some private collection.

Violin in Bridlington attic is Titanic artefact

The violin played during the Titanic disaster

It has been described as the most important artifact recovered from the Titanic. And now tests have revealed that a Violin found in an attic in Bridlington is the one played by the band leader, Wallace Hartley, as the ship went down.

The 24-year-old musician lived at this house in Dewsbury for 16 years and was engaged to Maria Robinson from Bridlington. She bought the violin for him as gift - and it's the silver engraved plaque that has helped scientists prove that this is really his instrument.

The violin was strapped to Wallace's body when he was recovered and returned to Maria - it's believed he used the case as a buoyancy aid.

After that the instrument disappeared, until it was discovered in the loft of Maria's former home. From there it was passed to Bridlington's Salvation army, where the importance of the discovery was realised.

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Titanic Hero's Memorial

Father Thomas Byles

One of our region's heroes of the Titanic will be honoured later today. Father Thomas Byles, who was from Leeds, refused to leave the ship and instead went deeper into the ship to hear the confessions of third class passengers.

A memorial service will be held at a school in Rossall, near Blackpool, later.

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