The seller is California businessman Paul Kaufmann, who first became aware that his family possessed the item in 1990. While searching among his late mother's possessions, he happened on an ancient, pear-shaped box labeled "Beethoven."
Years of investigation by historians and scientists make a compelling case that the box was labeled accurately. Exhibit A: Kaufmann's great-great uncle was a physician closely involved in the 1863 exhumation of Beethoven (and Franz Schubert) largely for scientific study; according to several accounts, the physician kept Beethoven's skull. Exhibit B: Tests of existing strands of the composer's hair point to a DNA match. For Exhibits C through Z, see Dickey's book.
The owner hopes to earn at least $100,000 for the skull. At the link, you can read about other famous collectible skulls.
Link via Digg | Photo: Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies