A 15-liter bottle of Bordeaux first growth Château Mouton Rothschild – known otherwise as the “Nebuchadnezzar” – from the legendary vintage of 2000 was sold at Bonhams Hong Kong for more than one million Hong Kong dollars to an Asian collector.
The hammer price, HK$1,091,200 (US$140,299), sets a new auction record for a Château Mouton Rothschild Nebuchadnezzar, eclipsing the previous record of HK$918,750 (US$ 117,788), the auction house has announced.
Commenting on the result, Bonhams Director of Wine and Spirits Asia Daniel Lam said: “We are delighted to set a new auction record the first time we sold this iconic bottle in the Asia market and to an Asian collector. This testifies for the maturity and diversity of the wine market in the region.”
The commemorative bottle alone is a collector’s item.
Each year since 1945, the Château Mouton Rothschild label has been illustrated with an artwork by a renowned painter, from Picasso and Chagall to Hockney and Warhol.
For 2000, in an exceptional departure from this tradition, no painter was commissioned. Instead, the glass was adorned with an “Augsburg Ram”, paying tribute to a chased silver-gilt drinking vessel created around 1590 by Jakob Schenauer, a German master goldsmith.
In order to reproduce all the refinement and lustre of the original work, the glassmaker B.S.N. – after four months of research – came up with a new technique for enamelling in relief.
The scintillating texture of the Ram, which catches the light from different angles, called for the utmost precision of craftsman and a complex method for firing the gold and enamel.
In addition to the record-setting lot, Bonhams’ Fine and Rare Wine sale on September 10 boasts 93% of sell-through rate.