A record breaking 1 million Yuan ($156,740) was spent at a Shanghai auction in China last Saturday for an 1858 bottle of Croizet Cognac. The 153-year-old Cuvée Léonie Cognac was auctioned off at an invite-only event held at the famous Peace Hotel on the Bund.
The spirit was named Cuvée Léonie, after the daughter of the house’s founder Léon Croizet. It was presented as her wedding dowry in 1892. Maggie Vong, the Hong Kong woman who bought the bottle, said, according to a press release from the auction house, that she learned to like cognac from her father, and that she would save it for a special occasion. She was also extremely excited to have created a new world record. The 1 million Yuan handily exceeding the €25,000 record set in France in 2009 for bottle fo 1788 Vieux Cognac.
The hammer price of $156,740 set a world record for cognac sold in its original bottle, but failed to outperform a cognac sold in 2008 for $2 million. However that price included not only the 100 year old liquor, but also a sickeningly expensive bottle encrusted with diamonds and gold, so the Croizet can legitimately claim to be the most expensive cognac in the world.
Whilst auctions for other tipples, such as fine wine, rare tea and bai jiu (Southern China’s notorious sorghum-based spirit) are common in China, this was the first ever auction devoted solely to cognac. 16 bottles were auctioned off altogether, with the Cuvée Léonie being the only one to have had a reserve price.