News | April 14, 2023

Beethoven Missa Solemnis Letter Sells for $100,000

RR Auction

Beethoven Missa Solemnis letter

A rare handwritten letter by Ludwig van Beethoven has sold for nearly $100,000 at auction, according to Boston-based RR Auction.

The one-page letter, written in German and signed "Beethoven" was penned circa September 1823 and addressed to Franz Christian Kirchhoffer. The letter - which went for $99,999 - concerns sending the Missa Solemnis to London and invites Kirchhoffer to lunch at Beethoven's flat on Sunday, along with his nephew Karl.

In the letter, Beethoven expresses his concern about the shipment of the Missa Solemnis to London, and asks Kirchhoffer to inquire about the possibility of sending it through the English embassy. Beethoven then goes on to invite Kirchhoffer to lunch at his flat, where he and his nephew Karl will be in attendance. He expresses his pleasure at the prospect of Kirchhoffer's company, especially given the promising weather.

Additional highlights from the sale included:

  • Brigham Young letter to New Hampshire's governor, requesting asylum for the Latter-Day Saints after the murder of Joseph Smith, sold for $50,908
  • Marie Antoinette extremely scarce handwritten letter, sold for $34,511
  • Albert Einstein signed photograph to a Jewish-German emigrant, sold for $28,405
  • Paul Revere military document, signed as commander of Boston Harbor's Castle Island, sold for $28,125
  • J. K. Rowling: Rare Presentation First Edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, sold for $21,048