The violin that was apparently played to calm passengers on the Titanic as it sank was sold for £900,000 in just 10 minutes at auction in Wiltshire.
It was played by band leader Wallace Hartley, who died along with 1,517 others as the ship went down. It had a guide price of £300,000.
The BBC's Duncan Kennedy said the buyer was believed to be British.
Auctioneer Alan Aldridge said the violin was the "rarest and most iconic" piece of Titanic memorabilia.
Mr Aldridge set the bidding at £50 for the violin, which was lot 230 of 251, so "two of his friends could bid" - but after just a couple of minutes it had passed £100,000.
It eventually sold for £900,000 after fierce bidding between two telephone bidders.
Hartley has become part of the ship's legend after leading his fellow musicians in playing as the vessel sank. They are famously said to have played the hymn Nearer My God To Thee.
It had taken seven years for the Devizes auction house, Henry Aldridge & Son, to authenticate the instrument.
Several experts were used, including forensic scientists who said the wood still contained salt deposits from the sea water.