There's always a particular fascination in an auction which is based round a famous collector. You feel that it's likely to give some insights into their character the depths of their interests and through their tastes.
Sometimes being owned by a famous person can add value to collectibles (as with the Kennedy copy of the Emancipation Proclamation recently). Sotheby's sale of Andrew Lloyd Webber's wine collection recently drew huge interest.
Not to be outdone, Christie's has announced the sale of Fine and Rare Wines Including Rarities from The Private Cellar of Chris de Burgh, which will take place in London, on 24 March 2011. Several investment-grade lots are on offer.
Comprising 320 bottles and 84 magnums of wine, principally red, The Private Cellar of Chris de Burgh is estimated to fetch in the region of £200,000, whilst the sale as a whole is expected to realise over £750,000. Estimates for individual lots range from £500 to £90,000.
Christie's specialists have diligently selected a variety of rare wines from Chris de Burgh's home in Ireland where they were carefully stored by the singer/songwriter and wine connoisseur in a specially constructed temperature controlled wine room and purpose built cabinets.
Chris de Burgh's favourite wine from the selection on offer in March is a full 12 bottle case of Château Lafite-Rothschild, vintage 1945 (estimate: £12,000-16,000) illustrated right.
In pristine condition and presented in the original straw which has protected the bottles since the end of the second World War, he finds the history of the case charmingly romantic: "Considering the dramatic events that were unfolding across Europe and particularly in France at that time, it's extraordinary that one of the finest wines of the century was made then".
The highest value lot in the sale is a vertical collection of 62 magnums of Château Mouton-Rothschild, vintages 1945-2005 (estimate: £70,000-90,000). First bought by Chris de Burgh at an auction in 1996 as a vertical of 40 magnums (vintages 1945-85), he has lovingly added to the collection over the years:
"It's been a real pleasure adding to the collection, although quite tricky at times to find each year in Magnum. But now I feel that it is time for someone else to enjoy it, and perhaps even add to it further."
Further highlights include a full 12 bottle case of Château Latour, vintage 1961 (estimate: £20,000-30,000) illustrated right, as wellas a selection of reasonably priced lots of Bordeaux, perfect for those just starting a collection of their own - Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, vintage 1989 (estimate: £600-800), and Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, vintage 1983 (estimate: £500-600).
And whilst the bottles on offer from Chris de Burgh's collection comprise mainly red wines - Bordeaux, as well as some fine Burgundies - also on offer is an interesting selection of rare and mature Château d'Yquem, the wine which first fuelled his collecting passion.