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Acker Merrall takes US$12m in Hong Kong

Acker Merrall & Condit's latest Hong Kong auction has yielded HK$95.5m (US$12.3m) - the house's second-highest grossing sale in the region.

The sale of wine from a European and an Asian collector was held on 5 and 6 November in the Grand Hyatt and Island Shangri-la hotels in Hong Kong.

Among the 1300 lots offered were numerous bottles of Domaine de la Romanée Conti and plenty of first growths as well as Chateaux d’Yquem, Petrus and le Pin.

One of only 24 jeroboams of 1945 Chateaux Mouton-Rothschild ever produced went for HK$927,200 (US$119,629); 42 bottles of Château Mouton Rothschild from 1900 to 2001 fetched HK$488,000/US$62,962 and 53 bottles of Château Latour from 1901-1996 fetched HK$463,600/US$59,815.

Fielding offers from a spirited crowd as well as internet and telephone bidders, Acker owner and auctioneer John Kapon played to much spontaneous applause.

‘Hong Kong is without a doubt the most exciting place to host an auction these days,’ Kapon told Decanter.com.

‘It’s a form of entertainment. You can see how much everyone is enjoying themselves. Plus of course they are getting some amazing wine.’

Importer Richard So, who also owns the Aedes wine bar in Hong Kong – known for its premium list – walked away with a handful of lots, including six bottles of 1982 Chateau Lafite Rothschild for HK$180,000 (US$23,220).

‘I think this price is quite fair – not crazy, not like last month’s [Sotheby’s] auction,’ he said. ‘I will probably re-sell this at some point.’

At the Sothebys Lafite auction last month, two cases of 1982 – sourced direct from the chateau – fetched US$132,584 each

So said he felt the atmosphere at Hong Kong auctions tended to cause irrational behaviour.

‘People tend to be more generous, they can get carried away with the excitement. Acker knows this – they are holding six auctions here this year rather than four.’

The collection also boasted one of the most important collections of Romanée Conti ever auctioned, with its top lot being 12 bottles of 2003 DRC Romanée Conti.

Acker Merrall & Condit will hold its next series of auctions in Hong Kong on 10-11 December 2010.

Written by Maggie Rosen in Hong Kong

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