Titanic band leader's letter to bring $92,500 ahead of violin sale

A letter written by Wallace Hartley, the Titanic's doomed band leader and one of the most famous victims of the disaster, will sell at Henry Aldridge and Son's April 20 auction in Wiltshire, UK.

Titanic Band Leader letter
Hartley did not survive the disaster, with his body recovered days later by the cable ship Mackay-Bennett

The auction takes place ahead of the auction house's sale of Hartley's violin later this year, on which he played the hymn Nearer My God to Thee to the frenzied passengers as the ship went down.

The letter, a touching note sent to Hartley's mother, will sell with a ?�60,000 ($92,380) estimate to sate collector desires prior to the violin sale. It was previously sold in April 2012, when it brought $154,974 to RR Auction's Titanic-themed sale.

It reads: "Just a line to say we have got away all right. It's been a bit of a rush but I am just getting a little settled. This is a fine ship and there ought to be plenty of money on her.

"I've missed coming home very much and it would have been nice to have seen you all if only for an hour or two, but I couldn't imagine it. We have a fine band and the boys seem very nice."

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge told the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: "We are unaware of any other surviving letter written by Hartley on board the ship.

"Clearly, this letter, which mentions the band and alludes to the wealth on board - implying that some of it would make its way to the band in the form of gratuities - elevates this letter to perhaps the most desirable and important on-board Titanic letter extant."

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