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‘Largest ever’ auction breaks major records

America’s first two-coast auction, the largest in California history according to organisers, set other major records.

The sale, in Beverly Hills on 8 and 9 October, was sponsored by Zachy’s, a major New York retailer, and Wally’s, a top Los Angeles merchant.

Realising US$4,239,317 (including the 17. 5% premium), this commercial auction was the largest in California history, Zachys said.

A bottle of 1847 Château d’Yquem, bought by a bidder in the room at the Peninsula Hotel, was sold for US$71,675.

‘This is the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold in the US, toppling the previous record set by Sotheby’s for a bottle of 1978 Montrachet from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in 2001 (US$23,929),’ and it ‘also attained the highest price ever realised by a bottle of white wine worldwide,’ Zachys said.

The 1,881-lot sale featured 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century rarities from the Los Angeles cellar of Graeme Revell, a composer for films, whose credits include the recent Open Water, and Dead Calm. He bought 500 bottles from Christie’s South Kensington and King Street while working on The Saint in 1997.

Two extremely rare bottles of 1941 Inglenook cabernet sauvignon, high-estimated at US$5,000 each, each sold for US$24,675 to Roman Coppola of the Niebaum-Coppola Estate, the site of Inglenook.

A lot of 1951-1991 Penfolds Grange Hermitage -‘the most extensive vertical of Penfold’s ever offered in the US,’ Zachys said – sold for US$70,500.

A bottle of 1784 Yquem, high-estimated at US$50,000, fetched US$37,600. An 1811 Yquem (US$40,000 high) realized US$28,200.

One bottle of 1811 Lafite-Rothschild (US$28,000 low estimate) went for US$30,550. A bottle of 1784 Lafite-Rothschild (US$30,000 low estimate) sold for US$29,375. And a bottle of 1800 Lafite-Rothschild (US$25,000 low estimate) sold for US$28,200.

Written by Howard G Goldberg in New York

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