One of the world’s oldest Cognacs sells at auctionBy Amy Hopkins
One of the world’s oldest authenticated bottles of Cognac which dates back more than three centuries has been sold at auction for nearly US$60,000.
The 1762 Gautier Cognac smashed its estimated sale of US$20,000-US$25,000 when it sold at Bonhams’ Whisky, Cognac and Rare Spirits auction in New York on 30 April.
The Cognac, which was bottled in 1840 and features an original handwritten label, sold to an online bidder in Poland for US$59,500
Another rare eighteenth century vintage of 1790 Cognac Grande Champagne from Napoleon Alexandre & Cie sold to the same bidder for US$49,980, breaking its presale value of US$15,000-US$20,000.
Overall, the auction sold 94% of its lot offerings and about 74% of all lots sold either above or within their estimated values.
Further highlights for the auction include an 1840 AE Dor, which sold for US$5,355, a 40-year-old Royal Salute Scotch whisky bottled in a red Baccarat crystal decanter, which sold for US$10,115, and a 1961 and 1965 bottle of The Macallan whisky, which both sold for US$8,925 and US$4,760 respectively,
A decanter of Hannisville Rye distilled in the 1860s and bottled in 1913 reached a final sale of US$7,735, while a rare presentation of a 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon in a crystal decanter with two accompanying crystal glasses and leather lined cherry wood case fetched US$5,712.
Other Bourbon highlights included two demijohns favoured by pre-prohibition gangsters brought sales of US$2,975 each.
The demijohns contained approximately three gallons of Bourbon and are sourced from Chicago liquor purveyors Chapin & Gore, whose bars were frequented by writer Mark Twain and showman Buffalo Bill Cody.
A seven-bottle set of Erte Edition Cognac from Courvoisier fetched US$5,950 and a 38-year-old Bowmore 1964 vintage sold for US$5,355.
Bonhams claimed that the majority of bidders were based in the US, followed by the UK. Many bidders were also based in Hong Kong, which the auction house said despite the current clampdown on luxury gifting in China, demonstrates the “increasing popularity of the collecting category in Asia”.
“The market for premium and vintage spirits remains strong across all categories and among a wide range of buyers,” said Bonhams’ whisky and rare spirits specialist Joseph Hyman.
Bonhams is now accepting consignments for its next Whisky, Cognac & Rare Spirits Auction, which will take place on 19 October in New York.