During the Georgian and Victorian periods it was popular for bereaved family members to turn locks of hair into highly stylised forms of momento mori displayed in lockets and brooches. These days a lot of people can find such antiques unsettling, however, for the music obsessed pop fan, what could be a better or more personal keep sake than than the artists hair.
As a valuer, I'm always curious to see what kind of value the auction house puts on such unique items. In this case, Heritage Auctions, Los Angeles, estimated the lock of hair at US$4,000 before a flurry of bids took it to an impressive US$18,750 (premium inclusive).
Other notable hair sales include the 2010 offering by local auction house Art&Object of Napoleon Bonaparte's hair with a bullishly optimistic estimate of NZ$150,000 - $300,000, finally settling for a more realistic but still respectable NZ$19,0000.
Earlier this year Heritage Auctions sold a substantial lock of hair from John Lennon for US$35,000, but the world record goes to the King of Rock and Roll himself, Elvis Presley, achieving a monumental US$115,000!