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Collecting strands of hair of famous people

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What was once a gentleman's hobby among a few dozen enthusiasts at the turn of the 20th century," wrote The New York Times in July, "has evolved into a multimillion-dollar industry," namely, collecting strands of hair of famous people. Mastro Auctions of Chicago sells $100,000 worth of hair a year, and in October, a tuft of Che Guevara's went for $119,500 (and John Lennon's recently for $48,000). Westport, Conn., Americana dealer John Reznikoff (who owns strands of Lincoln, Washington, Napoleon and Beethoven) appraised Britney Spears' locks (after her 2007 head-shaving) at "only" $3,500. Reznikoff told the Times that, while he advertises his trade in books and autographs, the hair is low-key: "I'm concerned clients might not take me seriously if they see me selling a lock of Charles Dickens' hair."

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