Lifestyle & Belief

Hair of Austro-Hungarian emperor Franz Joseph sells for $18,000 at auction


The Stefansdom (St Stephan's church) is seen at dusk in Vienna on April 23, 2013.



A lock of hair belonging to the Austro-Hungarian emperor Franz Joseph has sold at Vienna auction for 13,720 euros or around $18,000.

The hair, which belonged to the estate of the Emperor's valet, Eugen Ketterl, had been valued at about 450 euros.

Meanwhile, a pair of silk long johns made for his wife, Elisabeth, was sold for 2,000 euros, 500 euros below their estimated value.

The Associated Press surmised that the fact she was assissinated before wearing them had lessened their attraction.

Meanwhile, Franz Joseph's silvery hair, contained in a worn purple velvet case,  was snapped up by Austrian restaurateur Mario Plachutta.

Plachutta is said to own of the world's largest collections of items from the imperial Habsburg dynasty.

Katrin Unterreiner, who bid for Plachutta, said:

"We've been concentrating on expanding the collection with special objects and the ringlet fits in very well."

Franz Joseph, one of Europe's longest reigning monarchs, ruled from 1848 to 1916.

BBC pointed out that the emporer's hair fared worse than a lock of Justin Bieber's hair, which sold for 25,024 British pounds (about $38,000) on Ebay in 2011.

However it was more soght-after than the hair of French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, which sold for £8,600, or about $13,000) at auction in New Zealand in 2010.