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Acker smashes auction record

With a US$24m sale Acker Merrall & Condit has smashed an auction record which has stood since 1999.

Grossing US$24,685,593 at its 20-21 October sale, the New York City house broke the US$14. 4m record Sherry-Lehmann With Sotheby’s set at their Millennium Sale in November 1999.

The entire consignment of 2,310 lots, of which more than 94% were sold, was provided by a private owner.

It came from what John Kapon, Acker’s president and auction director, trumpeted as ‘arguably the greatest cellar on earth.’

Buyers who spent breathtaking sums might agree. Blue chips from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti dominated the 24 highest-priced lots, all going for six figures.

The single highest bid, US$161,325, bought a case of 1990 Romanée-Conti. After that came two cases of 1945 Château Mouton Rothschild, and one six-magnum case, for US$155,350 each.

A bidder paid US$149,375 for six magnums of 1962 Musigny vieilles vignes, Comte de Vogüé. A methuselah of 1978 Romanée-Conti fetched US$125,475.

Six magnums of 1947 Château Cheval Blanc found US$119,500. Six bottles of G Roumier’s 1923 Bonnes Mares reached US$113,525. A case of 1947 Château Pétrus fetched US$101,575.

Three magnums of 1947 Chateau Lafleur brought US$77,675. Six magnums of 1961 Château Trotanoy went for US$59,750.

Billed as The Cellar II, the sale was held in an unusual venue, Café Gray, a star in the firmament of pricey new restaurants in the Time Warner Center on Manhattan’s West Side.

With wines from the same source, at its Cellar I sale, held in January, Acker generated US$10,643,836, at the time the third-largest intake in auction history.

Written by Howard G Goldberg in New York

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