Ludwig van Beethoven several curly strands

24 Feb

A relatively substantial collection of several curly strands of Beethoven’s hair, most appearing to be at least 3″ long. The hair has been kept in a slip of paper folded several times, captioned twice in pencil “Beethoven.” The inside bears a penciled draft for Beethoven’s funeral procession, most likely written by Anton Schindler or Stephan von Breuning, who made the preparations. Notes read in part (translated): “1. leader with staff. 2. 8 children 2 girls with candles 2 girls w/ flower baskets wherein flws. & fruit / 2 boys w/ candles 2 children with pitchforks, scythes, flowers…Soprano, Alto & Basso.” The hair is in fine condition and the folded slip in very good condition, with heavy intersecting folds and the writing a few shades light. The funeral at the Währing cemetery took place on March 29, with roughly 20,000 mourners in attendance. The eulogy was written by Franz Grillparzer and read by actor Heinrich Anschutz. Franz Xaver Stöber’s famous painting of the even shows a “leader with staff,” as described in these notes, followed by trombonists and singers, then by the children, and then by the catafalque bearing the composer’s casket.

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Posted by on February 24, 2015 in Ludwig van Beethoven


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