At Auction | Eighteenth-Century Cognac at Bonhams

Posted in Art Market by Editor on May 12, 2014

Press release (5 May 2014) from Bonhams:


Lot 947: Cognac 1762. Gautier. Wax seal, driven cork. Hand-blown bottle. Bottled circa 1840s. Handwritten label, coated in cellar grime. Writing clearly visible. Level: (u.5.1cm below bottom of cork) No bottle size indicated, approximately half bottle size. Sold for $59,500 including premium.

Very old and ultra-rare cognacs led the successful sale of the Whisky, Cognac & Rare Spirits Auction on April 30 at Bonhams, New York (21633), the third largest international fine art auction house. The auction’s top lot and front cover catalog highlight, a 1762 vintage Gautier that is one of the oldest authenticated cognac vintages known, experienced spirited bidding amongst an international clientele, eventually selling to an online bidder from Poland for a final price of $59,500. A further rare 18th-century vintage cognac, a 1790 Grande Champagne, sold for $49,980, also purchased by the same bidder. Additional cognac highlights include an 1840 AE Dor, which found its new owner for $5,355.

Overall, the auction sold 94 percent of its lot offerings and about 74 percent of all lots sold either above or within their estimated values, proving the items on offer accurately reflect the current market demand for luxury spirits. A majority of the bidders were based in the U.S., followed by the U.K. and particularly Hong Kong, which is indicative of increasing popularity of this collecting category in Asia.

The 987-lot auction notes other top selling highlights of whisky, bourbon, rye, cognac, and rare spirits, which includes a 40-year-old Royal Salute 1953–1993 that sold for $10,115. It was a limited edition offering in a ruby red Baccarat crystal decanter for the 40th anniversary of the introduction of Royal Salute to honor the Queen’s Coronation. A highlight among the fine examples of top-tier Scotch whiskies is a 40-year-old 1961 Macallan Fine & Rare that fetched $8,925. Also of note, a 1965 Macallan Fine & Rare sold for $4,760. Of the bourbon and rye selection, Hannisville Rye distilled in the 1860s and bottled in 1913 reached a final sale of $7,735, and from the Pappy Van Winkle line, a rare presentation of a 23-year-old bourbon in a crystal decanter with two accompanying crystal glasses in a leather lined cherry wood case fetched $5,712.

Other noteworthy highlights that sold include a seven bottle set of Erte Edition from Courvoisier ($5,950) and a 38-year-old Bowmore 1964 vintage ($5,355). Moreover, the two demi-johns of pre-prohibition bourbon from Chapin & Gore, a favorite of Chicago’s late 19th- and early 20th-century gangsters, fetched final prices of $2,975 each.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: