May 28, 2014
By Michael Kramer
A rare letter in Beethoven’s own hand is coming up for auction.
The document is among more than 400 items in the “Profiles in History” sale online and at galleries in California.
Beethoven’s letter dates from 1806 – a request to Court theatre director Baron Peter von Braun, whom he had argued with over royalties for the composer’s only opera “Fidelio.”
The letter is expected to bring $150,000 to $250,000.
Other highlights include documents by Nikita Khrushchev and Al Capone – as well as a speech by Muhammad Ali written for a college lecture tour in the 1960s. Handwritten on index cards, it presents his views on the Muslim faith and race relations.
At the time, Ali was barred from boxing for refusing to be inducted into the armed forces.
The Ali item could bring up to $12,000.