From 5th June to 14th August 2016 the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, has been awarded the world rights to exhibit the most prized RMS Titanic artifact ever recovered....the first public display of bandmaster Wallace Hartley's RMS Titanic Violin.
"In my 20 years as an auctioneer, I can honestly say I don't think any other article has made people show as much emotion as this one." Said auction house Director, Andrew Aldridge.
The Wallace Hartley Titanic violin commanded the highest price ever paid for an RMS Titanic artifact when it was sold at auction in October 2013 to an anonymous European Collector for $1.7 million dollars by the world's leading Titanic auctioneers, Henry Aldridge & Son Auction House of Devizes in Wiltshire. Now under exclusive arrangements with Aldridge & Sons and the secret owner they represent, this cherished violin is currently exhibiting in Branson, Missouri before arriving at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge on 5th June 2016.
"RMS Titanic bandleader Wallace Hartley's violin has become the iconic symbol of the Titanic saga. Found strapped to his body after the sinking, it was returned to his wife-to-be, only to be lost to the world until it resurfaced almost a century later. Now, for the first time since an unnamed owner took possession of the violin, visitors to the Titanic Museum Attractions will be able to experience for themselves, the overwhelming sense of emotion it evokes" says Mary Kellogg-Joslyn, co-owner of the Titanic Attractions.
On 17th June 2015, the Wallace Hartley gravesite in Colne, Lancashire was catalogued by Historic England as a newly-listed historic site. The original gravesite ceremony was held on 17th May 1912 at which time more than 30,000 mourners attended the procession for the town's national hero. It was the largest number of people known to have attended services for the RMS Titanic victim. Hartley's impressive memorial is located on the main road into Colne. A small bronze plaque reads:
"Wallace Hartley Bandmaster of the RMS Titanic who perished in the foundering of that vessel April 15, 1912 Erected by voluntary contributions to commemorate the heroism of a native of this town"
In anticipation of record crowds, Titanic Museum Attractions management will feature a special, daily, Early Morning violin viewing for a limited number of Titanic enthusiasts. These VIP guests will have close, uncrowded access to the violin where they can shoot heirloom photos of their encounter with the violin that played on and on, as Titanic slipped away.
"The Titanic violin may never be played again," admits Mary Kellogg. "But one of the final songs Wallace Hartley was said to have been playing during the ship's final moments can still be heard in our imaginations:....Nearer, my God to thee; Nearer, my God to thee; Nearer to thee..."
About Titanic Pigeon Forge
Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge is a celebration of the ship, passengers and crew!
As the whole world remembers the world’s most famous luxury liner, Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, opens the door to the past in it’s one-of-a-kind way – letting “passengers” experience what it was like to walk the hallways, parlors, cabins and Grand Staircase of the Titanic while surrounded by more than 400 artifacts directly from the ship and its passengers. As visitors touch a real iceberg, walk the Grand Staircase and third class hallways, reach their hands into 28-degree water, and try to stand on the sloping decks, they learn what it was like on the RMS Titanic by experiencing it first-hand.
Each guest entering the ship will receive a boarding pass of an actual Titanic passenger or crew. Feel their spirit presence in the galleries where over 400 personal and private artifacts are on display. Many are on display for the first time in the world. This collection is valued at over four and a half million dollars. This is a self-guided tour.
Discover your passenger or crew’s fate in the Titanic Memorial Room where 2,208 names line this historic wall. For more information visit titanicpigeonforge.com.