A violin said to have been played by the Titanic's bandleader, Wallace Hartley, on board the doomed ship has been confirmed as genuine, after a hospital CT scan brought to an end a seven-year debate over its authenticity.
The instrument is currently in the hands of Andrew Aldridge from Henry Aldridge & Sons auction house in the UK, which specialises in Titanic memorabilia.
He said that the CT scan, taken at a Wiltshire, UK hospital, proved its authenticity "beyond any reasonable doubt".
The story of "the band that played on" is one of the most enduring from the Titanic sinking, with the band continuing to play in an attempt to calm passengers as the ship sank into the icy waters. All eight members of the band were killed, including Hartley, but only three bodies were found.
Hartley's violin is believed to have been strapped to his body in a leather bag, and was later returned to his fiancee, Maria Robinson. Robinson died in 1939, and the violin was donated to a local Salvation Army band.
It is currently owned by a music teacher, who approached the auction house seven years ago. The violin has since travelled the world, with the leading experts in a range of fields giving their opinions on it.
It will almost certainly break the record price for Titanic memorabilia when it is listed for auction. The record is held by plans of the doomed ship, which sold for ?�220,000 ($336,000) in 2011.Sign up to our free weekly newsletter to track this remarkable story.