Sotheby’s three-day sales series of wines and spirits in Hong Kong concluded today with an outstanding total of HK$119.5 million / US$15.4 million, surpassing the pre-sale high estimate of HK$95 million / US$12 million, and with almost 100% of the 1153 lots on offer sold.
Leading Sotheby’s inaugural live Spirits sale in Asia, The Black Bowmore Archive Cabinet achieved a stunning result, selling to a private Asian collector for HK$4,375,000 / US$563,000 – a new landmark price for Bowmore at auction. This unique piece presented collectors with the rare opportunity of acquiring the complete Black Bowmore single malt whisky collection direct from the Bowmore distillery, housed in a bespoke cabinet created by award-winning craftsman John Galvin. All proceeds raised from its sale will go directly to the Islay Development Initiative (IDI) to ensure a lasting legacy at the home of the Bowmore distillery.
On the opening day, Wines from the Cellar of Joseph Lau Part II was 100% sold - mirroring the ‘white-glove’ success of Sotheby’s sale of Part I last year - with a total of HK$52.6 million / US$6.8 million, more than double the pre-sale low estimate and with almost 90% of the lots selling for prices above their high estimates.
Phenomenal results across the board this season not only further cements our market leadership in Asia, but is also a clear affirmation of the loyalty of our clients across the region and the world. No doubt the star of the show was the Black Bowmore Archive Cabinet, a truly exceptional one-of-a-kind work marrying whisky and design which stopped visitors in their tracks during our sales preview. From wine to spirits, we are seeing an increasing number of passionate younger collectors with sophisticated tastes entering the fray, willing to go up against more established collectors in their pursuit of the very best the market has to offer. We look forward to an exciting single-owner sale in May with details to be announced soon.
The exceptional result for The Black Bowmore Archive Cabinet is a fitting testament not only to the concept and attention to detail of what is an extraordinary work of art, but also to the esteem with which collectors revere Black Bowmore. Steeped in history, these five whiskies transcend the concept of collectible whisky, their richly nuanced character and undeniable quality having attained legendary status over the years since their first release. I have been lucky enough to try several of these whiskies and their reputation as icons of the spirits world is truly deserved. The winning bidder can now lay claim to owning the ultimate celebration of Black Bowmore – and the Bowmore Distillery – in the knowledge that its sale has raised funds for the community on Islay.
We are delighted with the successful sale of the unique Bowmore Archive Cabinet at Sotheby’s Rare Whisky & Moutai Live sale in Hong Kong this weekend. We are incredibly proud that this auction has cemented Bowmore as such a highly prized single malt amongst collectors and whisky enthusiasts around the world, who appreciate its craftsmanship and heritage.
Rare Whisky & Moutai Live (18 April)
- Total: HK$12.8 million / US$1.6 million, 98.5% sold (all but 1 lot sold)
- Top Lot: The Black Bowmore “Archive Cabinet”, containing each of the five fabled Black Bowmore releases, sold for HK$4,375,000 / US$563,000 / £409,000
- A bottle of The Macallan The Red Collection 50 Year Old, released as part of the 6-bottle Red Collection in 2020, sold for HK$687,500 / US$88,500 (est. HK$500,000-700,000 / US$64,500-90,000)
- Strong representation of Japanese whiskies with bottles from the long closed Karuizawa and Hanyu distilleries, highlighted by Karuizawa MMA Gold Winners 10 Bottle Set which made an above estimate HK$937,500 / US$120,700 (est. HK$650,000-900,000 / US$84,000-116,000)
- Kweichow Moutai bottlings spanning a number of decades were distinguished by the exceedingly rare 25-litre Centenary Special Edition Moutai 2015 which sold for HK$437,500 / US$56,300 (est. HK$180,000-260,000 / US$23,000-33,500)
Wines from the Cellar of Joseph Lau Part II (16 April)
- All 147 lots (533 bottles) of the finest Burgundy and Bordeaux from the remarkable collection of the famed entrepreneur and collector were sold, bringing a total of HK$52.6 million / US$6.8 million (est. HK$23.9 - 34.3 million / US$3.1 - 4.4 million)
- Top lot: 9 bottles of Romanée Conti 1990 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti sold for HK$3,500,000 / US$450,590 (est. HK$1,300,000-2,000,000 / US$160,000-240,000)
- A 6-bottle offering of Vosne-Romanée Cros Parantoux 1985 Henri Jayer more than doubled its estimate to bring HK$2,000,000 / US$257,480 (est. HK$600,000-850,000 / US$75,000-100,000)
- A bottle of Yquem dating back to 1865 quadrupled its estimate, achieving HK$437,500 / US$56,324 (est. HK$65,000-95,000 / US$8,000-12,000)
Finest & Rarest Wines (17 April)
- The Finest & Rarest Wines sale brought a combined total of HK$54.2 million / US$7 million (est. HK$32.9 - 46.5 million / US$ 5.6 - 5.9 million) with a sell-through of 99.5%.
- Top lot: 12 bottles of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Assortment 1978 in original wooden case sold for HK$875,000 / US$112,600 (est. HK$420,000-600,000 / US$54,000-77,000)
- Large formats commanded top prices: 1 methuselah (6 litres) of La Tâche 1985 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti surpassed its pre-sale estimate to sell for HK$812,500 / US$104,600 (est. HK$280,000-420,000 / US$36,000-54,000)
- A collection of legendary Henri Jayer from the 1970s to 1990s was enthusiastically received by buyers, led by 12 bottles of Echézeaux 1989 Henri Jayer for Georges Jayer, achieving HK$562,500 / US$72,400 (est. HK$400,000-600,000 / US$51,500-77,000)