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Titanic bandleader Wallace Hartley's letter goes up for auction

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

A letter written by Titanic violinist and bandleader Wallace Hartley aboard the doomed ship is set to be sold on 20 April at an auction in Wiltshire, UK.

The letter, which Hartley wrote to his parents four days before the disaster, is being sold by Henry Aldridge & Son with an estimate of £50,000–£70,000. The letter 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 & there ought to be plenty of money on her. I've missed coming home very much & it would have been nice to have seen you all if only for an hour or two, but I couldn’t manage it. We have a fine band & the boys seem very nice. I have had to buy some linen & I sent my washing home today by post. I shall probably arrive home on the Sunday morning. We are due here on the Saturday. I'm glad mother's foot is better.'

The letter, thought to be the only surviving letter written by Hartley on board the ship, was previously sold in April 2012 for $185,000 by US-based RR Auctions.

Later this year, Henry Aldridge & Son plans to auction a violin that it claims was the one Hartley played as the Titanic went down, and was found strapped to his body at sea.

photo: courtesy Henry Aldridge & Son

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