Rare bottle of Black Pearl Cognac surfaces at Bonhams after a life at sea

13 Sep 2012, Fine & Rare Wines

Fine selection of rare Cognac includes 200 year-old bottles

An exceptional selection of rare Cognac will be offered at Bonhams Fine & Rare wines sale on 13th September at New Bond Street, London. One of the highlights is a bottle of Rémy Martin Black Pearl Cognac. The unusual Cognac, bottled in a special, limited edition, black crystal decanter is estimated at £5,000 - 7,000.

After several years traveling the world on a luxury cruise-liner, the bottle will end its voyage at auction. It started life at sea in the on-board shopping mall and was eventually purchased by an experienced South African bar manager, who trained as a sommelier. He spotted the bottle while cruising across the Mediterranean and, realizing its importance and rarity, he bought it and sent it from Greece to South Africa for safe-keeping.

The Cognac, a 'Louis XIII de Remy Martin', is made using a special blend of 1200 eaux de vie, between 40 and 100 years old and is aged in ancient oak barrels. It is produced from grapes grown in the Grande Champagne territory, at the innermost heart of the Cognac region. While all Louis XIII Cognac is bottled in Baccarat crystal decanters, only 800 bottles of Black Pearl are released each year and very few come onto the open market. The distinctive bottle is made from black crystal that has a silvery gleam and is accompanied by a stopper with a fleur-de-lys design.

Other exceptional Cognac in the sale includes two bottles over 200 years old. A bottle of Pierre Ferrand Cognac, Réserve Marie Domain, from 1806 is estimated at £1,800-2,200 and is presented in a wooden box with a humidifier and hygrometer, and a bottle of Napoléon Grande Fine Champagne Cognac is estimated at £1,000-1,500.

Presentation plays an important role in the appeal of fine Cognac. Another highlight of the selection coming to auction is an extraordinary decanter of Frapin François Rabelais 1er Grand Cru Cognac, estimated at £3,000-4,000. The decanter is cased in gilt, to appear like a giant pocket watch, and includes a functional time-piece at the centre.

Richard Harvey, International Director of Bonhams Wine department commented "The selection of Cognac we have in this sale is a feast for the senses. Black Pearl is a highly sought after de-luxe Cognac and it is incredibly rare to see something like this come up at auction. With the Cognac market increasingly buoyant, it is a pleasure to be offering rare bottles produced over two centuries ago and bottles with interesting provenance and presentation".


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 appraisal services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com

Contacts
  1. Anthony Barne M. W.
    Specialist
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 1672 564 662
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 5821
  2. Richard Harvey M. W.
    Specialist
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7468 5813
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 5821