London, Oct 20: A violin, which was apparently played to calm passengers on the Titanic as it sank, was sold for 900,000 pounds (about $1,454,400) within just 10 minutes at an auction in Britain, BBC reported Saturday.
It was played by band leader Wallace Hartley, who died along with 1,517 others as the ship went down. It had a guide price of 300,000 pounds. The German-made violin was an engagement gift to Hartley from his fiancee Maria Robinson.
The buyer is believed to be British, BBC reported.
Auctioneer Alan Aldridge, in South West England’s Wiltshire county, described the violin as the “rarest and most iconic” piece of Titanic memorabilia.
He set the bidding at 50 pounds for the violin, which was lot 230 of 251, so “two of his friends could bid” – but after just a couple of minutes it had passed 100,000 pounds, eventually selling for 900,000 pounds following a fierce bidding between two telephone bidders.
However, many of the other items up for sale, such as photographs, newspapers and crockery, were sold for between 10 pounds and a few hundred pounds.