Oldest rum offered at auction to sell for $19,500 at Christie's

The oldest bottles of rum ever offered at auction are to be sold by Christie's on December 12-13, having been produced by slaves more than 200 years ago.

Slave Rum oldest auction
Slaves in Barbados produced the rum in 1780

Made in Barbados, the rum has lain in the cellar of Harewood House in Yorkshire since being shipped to England. The collection is now expected to see more than £12,000 ($19,630) when it crosses the block in London.

Comprised of both dark and light rum, the 12 bottles date to 1780. They hold individual estimates of £600-800, with profits to benefit the Geraldine Connor Foundation, a charity that helps young people in the performing arts.

Connor was born in Trinidad but moved the UK and became a leading figure in Yorkshire's West Indian community.

Harewood House was built by the Lascelles family with the proceeds from the 47 sugar, cotton, tobacco and rum plantations they owned.

Despite being regular entertainers, the Lascelles family used the rum sparingly, imbibing only one or two bottles per year, "with the exception of one day in December 1805 when a startling eight bottles were drunk," according to Christie's.

In 2011, the oldest known bottle of Champagne, rescued from a shipwreck, sold for $43,630 to set a new world record for any bottle of fizz sold at auction.

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