A lock of grey hair. Mounted in a jewel-encrusted case with a glass covering. Accompanied by unsigned and undated attestation as well as a smaller note dated April 1875 and signed by Frau Friederike Theile.
Biographical/historical: Taking a lock of hair as a keepsake in memory of those who died was not uncommon in the 19th century. Shortly after Beethoven's death on March 26, 1827, many visitors took a clipping of the composer's hair so that by the time of his funeral on March 29, most of his hair had been removed. (Information from Beethoven's hair (New York: Broadway Books, 2000) / Russell Martin.)
Ownership: Presumably the lock of hair was owned by the Beethoven Association which, upon its dissolution in 1940, donated it with other materials to the New York Public Library.
Extent: Approximately 30 strands + 2 notes ; 17.7 x 23 cm, 8.8 x 13 cm