Austrian royal's hair snags surprisingly high sum

The Associated Press, Thursday, April 25, 2013, 1:09pm (PDT)

VIENNA (AP) — A lock of hair from a former Austrian emperor has fetched a price of 13,720 euros ($17,800) at an auction of imperial memorabilia — more than 20 times its listed worth.

Hushed murmurs rippled through the room as the winning bid was announced for the silvery strands of hair from Franz Josef I, who ruled Austria from 1848 until his death in 1916.

A picture of Empress Elisabeth by Franx Xaver Winterhalter was the most pricey item, changing owners for 70,000 euros Thursday.

At more than three times its estimated value, that price reflected the growing scarcity of Austrian imperial memorabilia nearly a century after the country's last emperor abdicated with the end of World War I.

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