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Violin Played on Sinking Titanic Sells for $1.45 Million

PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- A new record has been set for the sale of Titanic memorabilia at an auction in the United Kingdom.

A violin that was believed to be played as the Titanic went down has sold at auction in Devizes, England for $1.45 million.

The auctioneers spent six years authenticating the instrument.

The violin was found in its case, strapped to the body of band leader Wallace Hartley, who encouraged his fellow musicians to play in order to calm panicked passengers aboard the ill fated ship.

Principal auctioneer Alan Aldridge says the violin represents bravery in human nature. "The way this young man and his colleagues and all the people who behaved bravely on the ship stayed and fulfilled their duty," Aldridge said.

The violin, complete with cracks and water marks, was an engagement gift from Hartley's fiancee Maria.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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