British auction house Bonhams currently holds the record for three most valuable bottles of whisky ever sold at auction with the record prices fetched by three bottles of 60-year-old Macallan. While Bonhams is dominating the whisky market, Sotheby’s tries to challenge the dominance by presenting another rare bottle of whisky, also a 60-year-old Macallan. Will this Macallan’s most prized vintage break the record again?
The whisky was distilled in 1926 and bottled in 1986. Back in 1992, Macallan commissioned two world famous pop artists, Peter Blake and Valerio Adami, to design labels for the very limited edition of 24 bottles. Only 12 bottles of each label were made, and they were gifted to Macallan's most valuable customers.
The record for the most expensive bottle of whisky was set by a Macallan Valerio Adami 1926, which was sold for £848,750 at Bonhams Edinburgh last week. The bottle is reported to be purchased by a private collector in Asia.
Sir Peter Blake
Peter Blake is best known for designing the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album
The whisky to be sold at Sotheby’s features a label illustrated and signed by renowned pop artist Sir Peter Blake, who was best known for designing Beatles album covers like Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
The label captures important events of 1926, including the attempted assassination of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, U.S. golfer Bobby Jones’ capture of the British Open title, and the death of actor and early pop icon Rudolph Valentino.
The label captures events of 1926, including the attempted assassination of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini
The label also features Bobby Jones (upper right) and Rudolph Valentino (lower right)
Bottles of 60-year-old Macallan with labels designed by Valerio Adami (left) and Peter Blake (right) broke the auction records one after another
A bottle of Macallan 1926 with a label designed by Peter Blake was hammered down at HK$6.5m and sold for a record HK$7.96m (US$1.01m) at Bonhams Hong Kong this May. But the record was soon replaced by the Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 offered at the same sale. It was sold for HK$8.63m (US$1.1m). Until early this month, the record was shattered by another bottle of Macallan Valerio Adami 1926, which was sold for £848,750 (HK$8.64m) at Bonhams Edinburgh.
The one that comes up for auction at Sotheby’s is a bottle of 60-year-old Peter Blake Macallan, the 9th in all 12 bottles produced. Once the bottle of whisky is hammered down for US$900,00 or even higher price, after including the buyer’s premium, 24% of the hammer price, the final price will set a new auction record.
The Macallan, 1926, 60 Years Old, Sir Peter Blake 1926
Lot no.: 1559
Estimate: US$700,000 - 1,200,000
Auction house: Sotheby’s New York
Sale: Finest And Rarest Wines Featuring The Macallan 1926, Sir Peter Blake
Auction date: 2018/10/12