NEW YORK — The Master Distillers Unity Set, a blend of seven different Kentucky Bourbons made in support of Parker Beam's fight against ALS, sold for $10,115 on October 13 at Bonhams Whisky, Cognac & Rare Spirits auction in New York. The set consisted of two bottles of the exceptional spirit in crystal decanters, and sold for more than five times its pre-auction estimate. The set is unique and will never be reproduced.
Featuring over 400 rare and historic bottles, the auction was sold 93% by lot and 94% by value. Always popular with attendees, the auction saw a major increase in live online bidding, and participants from over a dozen countries were represented. Interest was concentrated in the US, with notable attention coming from Great Britain, Hong Kong and Switzerland.
Other highlights included a bottle of L'Heraud Grande Champagne Cognac from 1802 that realised $14,280; a 52 year old Macallan Select Reserve from 1946 that achieved $8,925; and a Courvoisier Erte set that fetched $8,925.
A bottle of Aberlour-Glenlivet believed to have been given as a birthday present by JFK to his best friend, Lem Billings, attracted significant attention prior to the auction. It sold for $6,545 - more than double its pre-auction estimate. An Old Vatted Glenlivet from 1862, believed to have belonged to American industrialist William Bayard Cutting also proved popular, selling for $7,735.
"This auction saw particular interest in cognacs, premium single malt scotch such as Macallan and Ardbeg and pre-prohibition American whiskeys," said Joseph Hyman, Bonhams Whisky Specialist in New York. "We are also seeing a significant market response to bottles from closed distilleries, especially Stitzel-Weller."
Bonhams next Whisky, Cognac & Rare Spirits auction in New York will take place in Spring 2014. For more information, please visit www.bonhams.com/departments/WHI/
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com