Mozart’s Hair is Worth More than Beethoven’s!

Image: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's hair
A lock of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s hair, contained in a 19th-century gilt locket is posed for photographs at the Sotheby’s auction house in London.Matt Dunham / AP


A lock of Mozart’s hair sold for 35,000 pounds ($53,400) one Thursday in 2015, while strands of Beethoven’s hair went for 8,124 pounds ($12,400), Sotheby’s auction house said. The buyers and sellers weren’t identified. The lock of Mozart’s hair (shown above) was 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 (1813-1870) was a conductor, Somervell (1863-1937) was an English song writer whose wife, Edith, was the daughter of James Collet, a civil engineer, Sotheby’s said.

The auction house had said the item was expected to fetch 10,000 to 12,000 pounds (about $15,000 to $18,000).

The Beethoven lock came with an invitation to the composer’s funeral. Sotheby’s had expected it to fetch 2,000 to 3,000 pounds ($3,000 to $4,500).

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.”

In this example, the value of jewelry and providence is more important then value of the piece.


2 thoughts on “Mozart’s Hair is Worth More than Beethoven’s!

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    1. I felt for Beethoven as well. I was hoping that the locket and the presentation had something to do with it. Sometimes it is all in the packing. Crazy to think that someone could have switched out the hair… now that would have been mean.

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