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Christie’s achieves Swiss record

Christie’s Geneva has made the highest-ever total for a wine sale in Switzerland – over £3.3m.

At the two-day sale on 13 and 14 November of an ‘Extraordinary Private Cellar’ belonging to a Swiss private collector, 1,398 lots were sold, achieving a total of SFr7,575,510 (US$6,823,229; £3,327,854). Christie’s Geneva achieved a record total for the auction.

While it was the highest ever achieved for any wine sale in Geneva, the European record belongs to Christie’s Grand Cru sale held on 18 and 19 September 1997 which brought in US$11,290,054, more than £7m, from the cellar of Norwegian businessman, Christen Sveaas.

Sveaas broke another record earlier this month, with wines from his cellar selling for over US$6.8m, a record for a Christie’s wine sale in Los Angeles.

The Geneva sale included 1,500 bottles of Château Pétrus, from a magnum of 1945 (selling for SFr13,000) to several cases of vintages all the way up to 2001. Unsurprisingly, the top 10 lots achieved were all from this iconic Pomerol property.

A case of the 1982 Pétrus bought by an Asian buyer outperformed all others at SFr63,250 (US$56,982; £27,791), with a case of the 1990 following close on its heels at SFr59,800 (US$53,873; £26,275) and the very youthful 2000 going for the same high price.

All in all, SFr3,573,556 (just over £1.5m) was paid for the 1,500 bottles of Pétrus and the total realized for the private Swiss cellar was SFr6,854,943 (US$6,175,624; £3,011,838).

The sum achieved was dwarfed by the Millennium Sale (Sotheby’s with Sherry-Lehmann) record of US$14.4m in 1999, which in turn was dwarfed by the $24.7m (£13.7m) made at the Acker Merrill Condit sale in the US in October 2006, which was supplied in its entirety by a West Coast collector.

Written by Anthony Rose

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