Sotheby's HK sale pulls in double expectations

  • Wednesday 8 April 2009

Sotheby’s first-ever single-owner wine auction in Asia has been hailed as ‘an outstanding success’ after it realised just under HK$50m (US$6.4m) – roughly double pre-sale estimates.

All 750 lots taken from The Classic Cellar from a Great American Collector were sold, with 94% fetching more than their pre-sale estimates. The sale had been expected to net receipts of around HK$20-29m (US$2.6-3.7m).

Asian wine enthusiasts were ‘out in force’ for the sale, according to Serena Sutcliffe MW, head of Sotheby’s International Wine Department.

‘There were many new buyers from mainland China in particular,’ she said. ‘Today is a fantastic and exciting start to our regular wine sales in Asia; it provides a magnificent platform from which we can move forward in this dynamic marketplace.’

Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, added that the success of the sale was a testament to the growing significance of Hong Kong as an auction hub in the Asian fine wine market.

Highlights of the auction included the sale to one bidder of five jeroboams of Château Mouton-Rothschild 2000 for HK$605,000 – compared to a pre-sale high estimate of HK$175,000.

Nine cases of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Assortment 1996 went to a single buyer for a total of HK$1.3m, roughly twice their pre-sale estimate, and an Imperial of Château Latour 1961 sold for HK$484,000.

The sale was the second of two auctions offering wine from the same cellar. The first, held in New York last month, realised a total of US$2.2m, bringing the overall total raised from the collection to US$8.6m.

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