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Violin played while Titanic was sinking up for auction in England

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The violin, of German make, was a gift from Hartley's fiancee Maria Robinson, and was engraved with the words "For Wallace on the occasion of our engagement from Maria."

The violin, of German make, was a gift from Hartley's fiancee Maria Robinson, and was engraved with the words "For Wallace on the occasion of our engagement from Maria."

LONDON — The violin reportedly played by a musician aboard the Titanic while it was sinking, went up for auction in England on Saturday.

None of the musicians on board survived the disaster, but according to survivors, Wallace Hartley and his fellow band members played “Nearer, My God to Thee” to keep up the spirits of passengers as they were boarding lifeboats.

Hartley’s body was found at sea days after the Titanic sank, with the violin still strapped to it. Hartley and the other musicians have been hailed as heroes for sacrificing their chances for escape.

“It represents bravery in human nature, the way this young man and his colleagues and all the people that behaved bravely on the ship, stayed and fulfilled their duty,” said Alan Aldridge, auctioneer.

The violin was expected to sell for more than $300,000, but fetched $1.7 million.

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