An 1817 score by Beethoven failed to sell at Sotheby’s this morning after a Manchester musicologist cast doubt on the handwriting. Professor Barry Cooper had gone public with his ‘hunch’ that the score was the work of a copyist.
On Radio 4’s Today programme Dr Simon Maguire of Sotheby’s fiercely defended the manuscript’s authenticity, accusing Cooper of misreading the score. Maguire said that Cooper had refused his invitation to come down from manuscript and inspect the score.
But when the hammer fell an hour ago the score failed to reach its reserve price and was withdrawn.
You can listen to the disputation here.