Hair-brained: Lock of Mozart's hair outsells Beethoven's at auction
A lock of hair belonging to master composer Mozart has sold for 35,000 pounds, while strands of Beethoven's hair have fetched 8,125 pounds at an auction here.
The lock of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's hair was encased in a 19th century gilt locket that also contains a handwritten note explaining the provenance of the strands.
"Hair of W A Mozart. Part of a lock given me by Karl Anschutz he having received it from his mother to whom it was given by the great composer's widow. Given by me to Arthur Somervell, Jas Collet," the handwritten note says.
Anschutz was a conductor, Somervell was an English song writer whose wife, Edith, was the daughter of James Collet, a civil engineer, Sotheby's said.
The lock of hair has come down to the present owner by direct descent from Somervell.
According to Sotheby's the item was expected to fetch about 10,000 to 12,000 pounds.
The Beethoven hair lock came with an invitation to the composer's funeral. Sotheby's had expected it to fetch 2,000 to 3,000 pounds.
The invitation laments the passing of the "celebrated and irreplaceable composer, who died from the effects of dropsy at 6 o'clock in the evening of 26 March 1827."