A beautifully presented bottle of Remy Martin Black Pearl cognac achieved strong results on September 13, at Bonhams' Fine and Rare Wines auction in London.
After several years at sea on board a luxury cruise ship, the extraordinary decanter was spotted by a trained sommelier, who immediately bought the rarity and consigned it to auction. A superb find, it sold for £10,350 ($16,807) against a £5,000-7,000 estimate - a 47.8% increase.
Containing Louis XIII de Remy Martin cognac, it is one of just 800 Black Pearl decanters produced each year - the majority of the Louis XIII is bottled in Baccarat crystal containers. As is common in cognac sales, the eye-appeal of the Black Pearl decanter played a large role in its final sale price.
The cognac itself is made using a complex blend of 1,200 40-100 year old eaux de vie, using grapes from the Grande Champagne region. Aged in ancient oak barrels, it is rarely seen at auction.
More impressive cognac results were seen by an 1806 bottle of Pierre Ferrand Reverse Marie Domain, which was presented in a modern wooden box with a humidifier and hygrometer. Boasting a fresh label from its makers, it sold for £3,910 ($6,350).
Achieving an identical sum was Frapin Francois Rablelais 1er Grand Cru, which was encased in a magnificent oversized pocket watch decanter with a functional time-piece at its centre - again displayed in the power of strong presentation in cognac auctions.
Bidders will have the opportunity to compete over some of the world's finest bottles of cognac, including a "forgotten" bottle of 1920's Godet War Treasury, at the Part de Anges charity auction on September 20.