Experts confirm Titanic violin is genuine

15 March 2013, 11:25 | Updated: 30 September 2014, 14:34

The instrument played as the ship went down is confirmed to have belonged to Titanic bandmaster Wallace Hartley after extensive testing.

Experts have confirmed a violin found in an attic is the one played by the bandmaster of the Titanic as the ship went down. One final test has verified the instrument belonged to Wallace Hartley, one of the doomed musicians who played 'Nearer My God to Thee' as the ship sunk.

The main clue to the instrument's identity was an inscription on the violin's tailpiece, reading 'For Wallace on the occasion of our engagement from Maria'. Since it was discovered, extensive scientific testing has been carried out, but until now the violin's owner had not been 100% confirmed.

Expert Andrew Aldridge said the violin, which has two strings missing and a crack down its side, is the most important Titanic artefact to emerge. He said: “We have spent the last seven years gathering the evidence together and have now reached the stage where we can say that beyond reasonable doubt this was Wallace Hartley’s violin on the Titanic."

The violin was found in an attic in 2006, in a travelling case bearing the musician’s initials. It's expected to fetch more than £400,000 at auction, when sold by Titanic experts Henry Aldridge & Son on April 20.