From a rare Macallan, to a Jay-Z signed bottle, to a unique Frank Gehry designed Hennessy, the three bottles presented a rare offering to bidders
March 17, 2021: Although the lots consisted of multiple rare bottles, Sotheby’s latest spirits auction in New York achieved much to celebrate. A specialty lot comprising a one-of-a-kind bottle of 1967 whisky from The Macallan Anecdotes of Ages Collection, created in collaboration with the globally renowned British pop artist, Sir Peter Blake, achieved $437,500.
A New Era of Advertising bottle is one of only 13 original bottles from this newly-launched whisky and art collection, and was offered alongside a print donated by Sir Peter Blake as well as a bespoke VIP experience at The Macallan Estate in Speyside, Scotland. Proceeds of this sale will benefit the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s diversity, equity, access and inclusion initiatives, with the objective to increase both free access and outreach to a variety of diverse audiences within the New York metropolitan area. Audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy free admission to the Guggenheim Museum on select Saturdays through a new initiative, ‘Saturday on the House’.
Igor Boyadjian, Managing Director for The Macallan, said: “The Macallan Anecdotes of Ages Collection is an extraordinary art and whisky collaboration with globally renowned British pop artist, Sir Peter Blake that celebrates The Macallan’s rich legacy and Sir Peter Blake’s remarkable contribution to the art world.”
The excitement continued just six lots later, when a unique bottle of D’USSÉ Cognac sold for $52,500, with proceeds benefiting the Shawn Carter Foundation – the charity launched by the acclaimed artist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur “JAY-Z” to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships further their education at institutions of higher learning.
Bottled in celebration of Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter’s 50th birthday on December 4, 2019, “Bottle No. 1” of the D'USSÉ 1969 Anniversaire Limited Edition Grande Champagne Cognac is the only bottle in the collection to also carry Mr. Carter’s engraved signature, and the first to be made available for public sale. A Cognac connoisseur, Mr. Carter first tasted the unique Grande Champagne Cognac many years ago and found it so remarkable that he noted it must be reserved for a momentous occasion. D'USSÉ surprised him with the first ever bottle in celebration of his 50th birthday. Just 50 bottles were issued to mark this milestone, the majority of which were given to his family and friends. The Cognac comes housed in a diamond-shaped cut crystal bottle, adorned with 24 karat gold leaf wrapping on the neck and decorated with the symbol of Le Croix de Lorraine, the historic French emblem of courage, honour and perseverance.
Immediately following the D’USSÉ Cognac, a Masterpiece Hennessy X.O Decanter designed by Frank Gehry achieved $18,750. Proceeds from the sale of the decanter will benefit the Asian American Business Development Center (AABDC) as part of Hennessy’s Unfinished Business initiative. Launched last May, the initiative is committed to help small businesses power through the immediate financial challenges of COVID-19 and help ensure they have the resources needed to get back on their feet.
On offer from the AABDC, this stunning decanter and its original design moulds were created by the architect extraordinaire in collaboration with Hennessy to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the storied brand’s most recognized expression, the X.O or “Extra Old”. Mr. Gehry’s gold and glass glorifier mixes contrasting themes of movement and freedom of form to clothe this bottle – Bottle #1 of only 150 decanters produced – in a second skin. The contours around the X.O Decanter evoke the River Charente – which once carried precious cognac barrels to maritime trading routes – and illuminate the deep colour of the Cognac within. To house the Masterpiece Decanter, he called on the cardboard design skills showcased in his Easy Edges furniture line to create a protective case.