A violin believed to have played on the Titanic before the doomed vessel sank beneath the waves has sold for more than $1.45 million at auction in London.
An unidentified bidder on Saturday won the violin, whose metal fixtures appear corroded by seawater and is no longer playable. It is thought to have belonged to bandmaster Wallace Hartley, who was among the disaster's more than 1,500 victims.
The bidder claimed it for $1,454,40. The figure for surpassed the estimated price tag of $325,000 and breaks the record for a single Titanic-related item.
Auctioneer Henry Aldridge and Son says the violin has been subject to numerous tests to check its authenticity since it was discovered in 2006. It said earlier this year that the violin was Hartley's "beyond reasonable doubt."
"It is just a remarkable piece of history," said Andrew Aldridge, of auctioneer Henry Aldridge and Son. "I have been an auctioneer for 20 years, but I have never seen an item that brings out this degree of emotion in people before."
The German-made violin 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."