Despite Wall Street's historic near-meltdown, Hart Davis Hart has just sold an American cellar for over US$11m.

The sum of US$11,160,583 taken on 19-20 September was the highest tallied for a 2008 wine auction and one of the highest ever recorded.

The Chicago house sold all 1,746 lots. The pre-sale estimate of the so-called Fox Cellar was US$6,827,960 to US$10,205,500.

Declining to identify the consignor, Hart said, ‘The word Fox refers to a private family trust.’

The topmost prices paid included US$179,250 for a case of 1990 Romanée-Conti, DRC, high-estimated at US$150,000, and US$107,550 for a case of 1999 Romanée-Conti, DRC, with a US$90,000 upper estimate.

A 165-lot Lafite-Rothschild consignment of regular and large bottles brought US$1,819,627.

One 12-bottle lot, high-valued at $30,000, went to a Chinese bidder in the room for US$54,970.

Hart’s vice chairman, Michael Davis, said: ‘There have been a lot of surprises in my 25-year career as a wine auctioneer, but I never thought that I would see a case of 1982 Lafite-Rothschild hammer above case lots of 1982 Pétrus in the same auction.’

Written by Howard G Goldberg in New York