Is this a Titanic violin?

A violin that it's claimed was played as the Titanic sunk will go on show this week before it is sold. It is expected to enter the record books for becoming the most expensive Titanic artefact of all time.

Violin 'played on the Titanic' to go on show

Video. A violin it is claimed was heroically played by Wallace Hartley, the Titanic band leader, as the ship sunk. It will go on show this week ahead of it being auctioned in Wiltshire next month. Forensic experts in Oxford helped a six year investigation trying to prove it is genuine.

But now relatives of another band member who also played a violin say they do not believe it is genuine. Mike Pearse reports.

Was this the violin played by the band as Titanic sank in 1912?

by Mike Pearse, Transport Correspondent
The violin that auctioneers say was played on the Titanic. Credit: Mike Pearse/ITV Meridian

According to auctioneers Henry Aldridge and Son, from Wiltshire, the instrument is made of maple and spruce wood and belonged to Wallace Hartley, the leader of the orchestra on the ill-fated ship.

They have spent six years researching the object and even enlisted world leading forensic scientist in Oxford and used a CT scanner in Swindon to prove it was authentic.

But as the violin is about to go on public view at the visitor attraction, Titanic Belfast, the relative of another band member says he simply "does not believe" it is genuine.

The RMS Titanic sailed from Southampton in April 1912 Credit: PA

Christopher Ward lost his grandfather, Jock Hume, in the tragedy. He was 21 years-old and himself played the violin. Mr Ward has spent years researching the subject for a book, And the Band Played On.

He told ITV News the way violins were made a century ago meant is was unlikely it could have survived for several days in the water after the Titanic went down. "It would have broken up" he believes.

But the auctioneers disagree. They say they "wanted proof beyond doubt" it was genuine before they sold it. They have spent six years and many thousands of pounds on world forensic experts and historians to discover if it is the real thing.

They say the inscriptions on the violin itself and the case that was with it prove beyond doubt it is genuine.

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