Extraordinarily important autograph sketchleaf for Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis could fetch $270,000 at RR Auctions in Amherst, N.H., with bidding due to close on January 15. One page both sides, 11 x 9.5, no date, but circa 1820–21, taken from the composer’s Missa Solemnis, contains ideas for three sections of his masterpiece. The bid currently stands at $270,904. The earliest material, written on both sides in ink, was discovered in 1996 among the papers of Anton Schindler, Beethoven‘s private secretary and earliest biographer.
Schindler added a few ink and pencil marginal notations, labeling the piece along the bottom of the front (translated): “Sketch for the Sanctus of the Second Mass in 3/4 meter.” He also identifies the sketches on the reverse in the left border (translated): “Idea for the Benedictus of the Second Mass.”
The manuscript was sold once before in 1999, achieving $110,000 – a figure that it has more than doubled already. The current owner, a European collector, wished to remain anonymous.
Other items featured in the sale include a copy of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band signed by all four members of the Beatles and a selection of space memorabilia.