Titanic Bandleader Wallace Hartley’s Letter Up For Auction
Every once in a while something very special comes up for auction and is worth taking note of. This past Sunday was the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, the great ship which met its doom on April 15, 1912 taking some 1,500 souls with her. RR Auction is commemorating the anniversary with an auction of extremely rare Titanic items.
The Titanic is known in every corner of the world. It is a story of proportions that have become bigger than the ship itself. Few other tragedies capture the imagination the way Titanic does. The ship was filled with some of the richest, most prominent people of the day and the news of them dying alongside the hundreds of other ordinary second and third class passengers brought an abrupt and sudden end to “The Gilded Age”.
The stories of heroism, cowardice, love and sacrifice were plentiful on that fateful ship, but one unlikely hero emerged as arguably the greatest one that night. His name was Wallace Hartley and he was the leader of the ship’s four piece string band. We’ve all heard the phrase “and the band played on” and it comes from Hartley and his bandmate’s decision to continue playing their music right up until the last moment. Hartley and his band gave the frightened passengers scurrying across the deck a few moments of peace and comfort as they all awaited fate to step in and play the final tune.
Hartley is still regarded as one of the biggest maritime heroes in history.
RR Auction is offering a letter written by Hartley on the Titanic, and on Titanic stationary, just days before the ship went down. It is the only known letter from Hartley that mentions his band.
It is rare and desirable to say the least. For the Titanic collector I can think of few other items that would complement a collection better than this.
If interested please see the auction at this link: Wallace Hartley Letter