Ludwig Van Beethoven | Image: Joseph Karl Stieler
Brendan Ryan is a musician as well as a professional appraiser. In his job with Butterscotch Auction Gallery in Bedford, New York, he visits people in their homes to appraise items at the owners' requests.
When he visited the home of a client in Greenwich, Connecticut over the summer, Ryan caught sight of something that had him "bouncing off the walls," he said in an interview with the Greenwich Time. Ryan found himself staring at the handwriting and musical notes of Ludwig van Beethoven.
Formerly obsessed with the composer, Ryan had seen Beethoven's handwriting before, though never on the job. Ryan's client had the yellowed piece of sheet music, covered with furiously scribbled notes in the margins, behind glass. She felt that the music was worth something, but had no idea of its actual significance or the price it would eventually bring her.
Read more on this story — including the process Ryan used to authenticate the find and the value of the piece at auction — at the Greenwich Time.