'Shipwrecked' Chateau Latour from an 1870s liner surfaces in Cheshire auction

We've commented frequently on the allure of collectibles retrieved from the ocean, including a Top Five on our blog, and now it seems that another opportunity is to arise in Cheshire.

This is for a bottle of fine wine believed to have originally been carried on a Liverpool ship which was wrecked a century and a quarter ago.

Frank Marshall's Auction House, in Knutsford, Cheshire is offering a bottle of Chateau Latour recovered from the seas near Liverpool.

Most of the details are lost from the bottle, as naturally the label has not survived, but the auctioneer believes it can only be from the Liverpool & Great Western Steam Navigation's SS Dakota, which had 120 bottles of Domaine de La Tour listed in its inventory.

Dakota's helmsman misunderstood an order to turn right and instead turned left, crashing into East Mouse rocks. At the time, along with the still familiar 'starboard' for right, the word 'larboard' was used for left which may not have helped.

The wreck, taking place 21 years before that of the Titanic, was thankfully less deadly than that event with everyone on board eventually scrambling to shore. But the cargo was all lost.

The auctioneer believes that if bidders accept the wine as being from the shipwreck (including being of an 1870s vintage) the bottle could be worth £15,000, but without proof the final bid could be much lower.

This is despite the fact that the wine may well be perfectly preserved. If seawater has not seeped in, the cold and dark of the depths makes an excellent 'cellar'.

The current world record for a bottle of Champagne at auction was set last year by some Veuve Clicquot recovered from the ocean bed.


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