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Titanic Violin Found: Forensic Science Service Confirms the Instrument, Wallace Hartley's Band Lives On

First Posted: Mar 15, 2013 02:01 PM EDT
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Most things at the bottom of the ocean, whether it be mail, human bones or buried treasure, stay there-well, forever. Yet scientists have just uncovered a little piece of history that gives a new note to the Titanic.

Survivors of the ship or history buffs might remember Wallace Hartley who entertained passengers even as they boarded the lifeboats after the ship hit an iceburg. It just so happens that Hartley's violin, which was believed to have been lost in the 1912 disaster but later found in 2006, has been tested and, in fact, proven to be the real thing.

"It's been a long haul," said auctioneer Andrew Aldridge according to The Christian Science Monitor, explaining the find had initially seemed "too good to be true."

The auction house spent the past seven years and thousands of pounds determining the water-stained violin's origins, consulting numerous experts including government forensic scientists and Oxford University.

Testing by the U.K. Forensic Science Service showed corrosion deposits were considered "compatible with immersion in sea water," while a silver expert studied a plate on the violin's neck to determine if it fit the time profile.

Henry Aldridge & Son said the violin will go on public display at the end of the month at Belfast City Hall, less than a mile from where Titanic was built. As for the price, it's probably more than most of us can afford, but at least you might feel that despite the tragedy, this piece of history adds a happy tune. 

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