Lot 262
  • 262

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus

10,000 - 12,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus
  • Lock of the composer's fair hair, contained in a nineteenth-century gilt locket, with a nineteenth-century manuscript note of provenance
  • lock of hair
the strands fixed with a green silk tie, the note written by Arthur Somervell and his father-in-law John Collet, recounting the provenance of the lock of hair from Constanze Mozart, via the conductor Karl Anschütz

1) "Hair of W.A. Mozart. Part of a lock given me by Karl Anschütz 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"; and, on the back, two notes written and signed by Somervell and Collet respectively:
2) "This gold frame [was] part of a bracelet given by Mr Collet to his wife after passing through the Indian Mutiny. (Anschutz born 1815 died 1870) A.S" and
3) "Anschütz gave it me some time between the years 1848 & 1851 when he was in London. Jas Collet"

in a mid-nineteenth-century gilt locket, glazed on both sides, overall size: 4 x 3cm

Catalogue Note

The nineteenth-century owner, Karl Anschütz (1813-1870), came to England in 1849, led the orchestra at Drury Lane and conducted Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at the Exeter Hall before emigrating to New York in 1857. Arthur Somervell (1863-1937) was one of the most successful English song-composers; he married Edith, daughter of James Collet, a civil engineer, in 1890, which may be the date of this gift. The lock of hair has come down to the present owner by direct descent from Somervell.

The remarkable early miniature that Mozart gave his cousin "the Bäsle" (sold in these rooms on 20 November 2014, lot 178) also showed Mozart with fair hair. We are unable to ascertain if Karl is related to Eduard Anschütz, who gave the address at the unveiling of a Mozart memorial in Salzburg in 1842, the year of Constanze Mozart's death; Heinrich Anschütz's transcript of the speech is in the Salzburg Mozarteum.