The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

October 18, 2013

Violin belonging to Titanic band leader to be auctioned

LONDON —

It’s probably a myth that he played the hymn “Nearer, My God, to Thee” as the great ship sank, but the battered, seawater-damaged violin believed to have belonged to the bandleader on the Titanic is to go on auction this weekend.

The instrument is likely to fetch the highest amount ever for a piece of Titanic memorabilia — up to nearly half a million dollars, the English auction house Henry Aldridge & Son said Thursday.

For many devotees of the Titanic and of the movies it spawned, the story of the orchestra continuing to play to comfort or distract terrified passengers remains an emotional touchstone, the epitome of courage, calm and defiance in the face of impending doom.

All the musicians drowned in the disaster, including leader Wallace Hartley. His body was plucked from the icy waters several days later, with the large leather case in which he carried his violin still strapped to him.

“The band playing on was an incredibly selfless act,” said Andrew Aldridge of the auction house. “William Hartley is an iconic individual. That is represented in the instrument.”

Whether the one that will go under the hammer Saturday was actually Hartley’s violin has been the subject of extensive scrutiny over the last few years.

The auction house, which is known for its specialization in Titanic items, is satisfied that it is. The instrument has been examined by experts in several fields and even underwent a CT scan for a closer look at its composition and damage.

Other items that were found with it have been authenticated as belonging to Hartley, including a silver cigar case. After the Titanic sank in April 1912 with the loss of more than 1,500 lives, Hartley’s fiancee, Maria Robinson, wrote in her diary that the violin had been recovered from the Atlantic and given to her.

Text Only
World, nation, state
  • REPORT: Retaliation by supervisors common at VA

    A pharmacy supervisor at the VA was placed on leave after complaining about errors and delays in delivering medications to patients at a hospital in Palo Alto, California. In Pennsylvania, a doctor was removed from clinical work after complaining that on-call doctors were refusing to go to a VA hospital in Wilkes-Barre.

    July 22, 2014

  • Veteran's Ducks Iraq vet cited for owning 14 therapeutic pet ducks

    An Army veteran who hurt his back during the Iraq War is worried a citation will result in him losing his 14 pet ducks, which he says are therapeutic.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stacked Apartment.jpg New York building shows how mod design stacks up as cool

    In a city piled high with ambitious architecture, a seven-floor structure off the beaten path boasts a distinction of its own: It’s billed as the first multistory, modular-built apartment building to open in the nation’s apartment capital.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scores dead in first major ground battle in Gaza

    The first major ground battle in two weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting exacted a steep price Sunday: It killed 65 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers and forced thousands of terrified Palestinian civilians to flee their neighborhood, reportedly used to launch rockets at Israel and now devastated by the fighting.

    July 21, 2014

  • Traditional lottery games hold their own

    Ohio’s traditional lottery games are mostly doing well despite competition from their electronic counterparts at four racinos.

    July 20, 2014

  • HIV diagnosis rate fell by third in U.S. over decade

    The rate of HIV infections diagnosed in the United States each year fell by one-third over the past decade, a government study finds. Experts celebrated it as hopeful news that the AIDS epidemic may be slowing in the U.S.

    July 20, 2014

  • Suddenly, the sun is eerily quiet: Where did the sunspots go?

    The sun has gone quiet. Almost too quiet.

    July 20, 2014

  • Monitors try to secure Ukraine plane crash site

    International monitors moved gingerly Saturday through fields reeking of the decomposing corpses that fell from a Malaysian airliner shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine, trying to secure the sprawling site in hopes that a credible investigation can be conducted.

    July 19, 2014

  • Israeli bulldozers destroy Hamas tunnels in Gaza

     Israeli bulldozers on Saturday demolished more than a dozen tunnels the military said were being used by Hamas gunmen to sneak beneath the southern border of the Jewish state and carry out attacks on its soldiers and civilians.

    July 19, 2014

  • Credible probe sought in downing of Malaysian jet

    World leaders demanded Friday that pro-Russia rebels who control the eastern Ukraine crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 give immediate, unfettered access to independent investigators to determine who shot down the plane.

    July 19, 2014

House Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video