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A Lock of Beethoven’s Hair Just Got Auctioned for Over Rs 30 lakh

An unidentified bidder won the auction, which took place in West London on 11 June, by paying more than double the expected price of £12,000–£15,000

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Updated:June 14, 2019, 3:34 PM IST
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A Lock of Beethoven’s Hair Just Got Auctioned for Over Rs 30 lakh
An unidentified bidder won the auction, which took place in West London on 11 June, by paying more than double the expected price of £12,000–£15,000

A lock of Ludwig van Beethoven’s hair has fetched £35,000 (over Rs 30 lakh) at an auction in the United Kingdom.

An unidentified bidder won the auction, which took place in West London on 11 June, by paying more than double the expected price of £12,000–£15,000

Auction house Sotheby's, one of the world's largest brokers of art and collectibles, said the “substantial lock” of the German genius composer's grey and dark brown hair was “evidently given by him to the pianist Anton Halm in 1826.”

Halm got to know Beethoven well, after meeting him in 1815 and playing for him frequently.

“The composer liked Halm's bluff military manner and apparently bore him no ill-will even after Halm's wayward piano playing in the Choral Fantasia in 1817 brought the performance to a halt.

In 1826 Halm made an arrangement of Beethoven's Grosse Fuge op.133 for two pianos and it was evidently during this period that Beethoven gave him this lock,” it said.

Halm told Beethoven's great biographer A.W. Thayer that he had tried to buy a lock of Beethoven's hair as a gift for his wife but was instead sold a fake lock taken from a goat.

When he found this out, an outraged Beethoven “promptly snipped off some hair” and gave it Halm.

“ The hair stayed in Halm’s family before eventually being passed on to a pupil, and it has been in the hands of collectors since the 1920s.”

Previously, Sotheby's has auctioned a smaller lock of Beethoven’s hair which was taken on his death bed.

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