The auction of traditional masterpieces in Hong Kong next month is expected to achieve up to HK$200 million.
Shipwreck champagne, 200 years old, auctioned today
8 Jun 2012, 13:12 GMT+01
Buried with a shipwreck deep beneath the Baltic Sea for 200 years, bottles of champagne are being auctioned off in Finland today.
145 bottles were salvaged from the wreck, off the autonomous Finnish Aaland archipelago in 2010. The ship is thought to have been sailing the high seas between 1825-1830 when it was sunk, making these bottles the oldest champagne known to exist. The ship’s name is a mystery, but it is thought that it was bound for the Russian court of Emperor Nicholas I in St Petersburg with its cargo of fine sweet champagne.
Last year a bottle of Veuve Clicquot from the very same shipwreck was sold at auction for $37,400.
Today’s auction, organised by the Aaland government and held by Artcurial at the Congress and Cultural Centre in Mariehamn, features eleven bottles: six of Juglar, four of Veuve Clicquot, and one Heidsieck & Co.
The recovered bottles have been tasted by expert Richard Juhlin, who identified their various brands. The Baltic Sea has, according to him, preserved their taste in ideal conditions – horizontal, under pressure, at a low temperature, in the dark. The Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Finland’s FINE Champagne Magazine, Essi Avellan MW, tasted the champagne in September 2011, and described it as: ‘very much alive and remarkably fresh’.1
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