Honor to Beethoven
A rare token for admission to a recital at the Beethoven Quartet Society. The first Beethoven quartet cycle took place in London, a city the composer never visited, in 1845, 18 years after his death. It was initiated by an enthusiastic amateur musician and influential tastemaker Thomas Massa Alsager who established the Beethoven Quartet Society which endeavoured to present ‘the most perfect performance possible of the Quartetts of Beethoven’. The cycle was repeated every year until 1851 with a break in 1849, so six times total. Each performance was limited to 50 subscribers who received one of these admission tokens. The token measures 1 and 1/3 inches by 1 and 1/3 inches and is pierced for suspension with a gold loop.