Sotheby’s to auction ‘substantial’ lock of Beethoven’s hair

LONDON – British auction residence Sotheby’s plans to promote on Tuesday what it says is a “substantial” lock of Ludwig van Beethoven’s hair that the German composer himself scale back off and gave to a pianist good buddy in 1826.

The lock is anticipated to fetch up to 15,000 kilos ($19,000) nonetheless the director of books and manuscripts at Sotheby’s, Simon Maguire, said it might end up selling for better than that.

“There’s already been quite a lot of interest,” he said.

Recounting the story behind the merchandise, Maguire said Austrian pianist Anton Halm had requested for a lock of hair to give to his partner as a memento nonetheless Beethoven’s servant had instead despatched the hair of a goat, infuriating the composer.

“And he then gave (Halm), in a piece of paper, a lock of hair that he had just himself cut from the back of his head, a substantial lock. And he said this one at least you can be sure is genuine,” Maguire said.

Halm later gave the lock to a pupil, Julius Epstein, who was a professor of piano on the Vienna Conservatory. Its authenticity was moreover confirmed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer, creator of the first scholarly biography of Beethoven, Maguire added.

Sotheby’s has up to now auctioned a smaller lock of Beethoven’s hair, taken on his demise mattress a yr later, in 1827, as well as to the hair of fellow composers Frederic Chopin and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and of British naval hero Horatio Nelson.

“This one (to be auctioned on Tuesday) is unusual in that it has a very substantial early story and also it is quite a substantial lock,” said Maguire, together with that totally different locks provided beneath auction had principally been lowered to a number of strands of hair.

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