Beethoven's Missa Solemnis manuscript at $40,000

Bidding on a handwritten manuscript page from Beethoven's Missa Solemnis stands at $40,264 at RR Auction.

The lot is to lead an online sale of memorabilia that runs until May 13.

Missa Solemnis Beethoven
Beethoven considered the Missa Solemnis his greatest achievement

RR Auction comments: "During Beethoven's lifetime, the Missa Solemnis was widely considered his masterpiece. It was this work to which he dedicated the most time and intense effort, working on it over the course of four years.

"The piece is even present in the most famous image of Beethoven, an 1820 portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler, which shows the composer holding a pencil above his notebook labeled 'Missa Solemnis.'

"A remarkable piece, rarely does an item arise that offers such great insight into the creative process of genius—essentially unmatched in magnificence, this Beethoven manuscript is a true historical treasure."

A receipt written and signed by George Washington is also on offer, with bidding at $13,155.

It reads: "Then Received from Mr. Josh Valentine the Currt. Sum of Fifteen pounds to be allowed for at next settlement."

It's accompanied by a letter of provenance from Washington's granddaughter, Mary Custis Lee (1808-1873) - the wife of confederate general Robert E Lee.

She writes: "I did not reply to your letter because the few autographs I had of Genl. Washington were carefully put away…I can only send you one which has been much injured in consequence of the necessity of bringing them all during the war—I could not spare another to anyone…

"You will see the paper sent is a receipt. Valentine I think was the manager of Mrs. Washington's estates."

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