epa03916807 An undated handout picture provided by Henry Aldridge & Son Auction House, Britain on 20 October 2013 shows the world-famous violin played by RMS Titanic bandmaster Wallace Hartley on Titanic's fateful night of 14 April 1912. The violin has been sold at auction by Henry Aldridge & Son on 19 October 2013 for a record 1,45 million US dollars, a world record sale for Titanic memorabilia. Hartley was among the more than 1,500 people who died in the tragedy. The violin, which had been a gift from his fiancee, was apparently found in a case strapped to Hartley's body when it was recovered from the icy waters. EPA/HENRY ALDRIDGE & SON AUCTION HOUSE HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES The violin. (EPA/HENRY ALDRIDGE & SON AUCTION HOUSE)

Also in the Washington Post:

Could you find a violin with a better backstory? The Post’s Karla Adams talked to the Henry Aldridge & Son Auction house in London, after a violin played by the Titanic bandleader (famously until the end while the ship sank) was sold for $1.7 million. Auction house staffers weren’t surprised the instrument sparked such a reaction.

““In my 20 years as an auctioneer, I can honestly say I don’t think any article has made people show as much emotion as this one,” said the auction house’s Andrew Aldridge told Adams. “People pick it up and start crying.”

The $1.7 million figure is a record for any Titanic artifact. And just to make sure they had the right instrument, the violin went through extensive rounds of authenticity checks, Adams reports, including forensic tests, historical research, and even a hospital CT scan. (Side note: Instruments can have CT scans?)

Read the rundown here: Titanic violin fetches record price at auction

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