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Trio of ‘exceptional’ cellars headline Sotheby’s sale

A trio of interesting private cellars, including that of a famous Belgian bottler and one of France’s most glamorous fashion designers of the 1920s will go on sale in London later this month.

Jean Patou’s cellar book

Taking place on 11 December, the 625-lot sale is estimated to bring in a total of £1.2 million.

Among the collections on sale, there is an ex-cellar consignment from Château Talbot spanning the vintages 1926 to 2010, which the drinks business has already written about here.

The next collection is from the Vandermeulen family, a well-known bottler of fine wines in Belgium in the 1940s and 1950s.

Packed full of “iconic wines and vintages”, the collection includes 1947 Cheval Blanc and Margaux, 1949 and 1952 Petrus and 1955 La Mission Haut-Brion – all labels stamped with the trademark family coat of arms.

Finally, the sale also includes a selection of wines that used to belong to Jean Patou (1880-1936), a flamboyant fashion designer in the 1920s and creator of ‘Joy’– which billed itself as the “most expensive perfume in the world” at the time.

As well as dressing starlets such as ‘Mistinguett’ (a dancer who, in 1919, insured her legs for half a million francs) and Josephine Baker, he also designed the tennis player Suzanne Lenglen’s then-daring sleeveless top and knee-length skirt look and helped popularise the cardigan.

His fashion house was overseen by Karl Lagerfeld in the 1960s, Jean-Paul Gaultier in the 1970s and Christian Lacroix in the 1980s after which the haute couture business closed.

The wines from Patou’s collection have lain in the cellar of his villa near Biarritz for over a century in some instances and highlights of the sale include a bottle of 1916 Latour (£2,000-£3,000) and 1926 Cheval Blanc (£2,200-£2,800).

Other top lots from the sale include consignments of blue chip claret from the 1980s to early 2000s, Dom Pérignon and Cristal from the 1990s, 1944 Yquem, top Spanish wines from Vega Sicilia, Pingus and l’Ermita and rare fortified wines including a 1963 Malmsey Solera, 1945 Croft and 1963 Nacional as well as 1943 Armagnac and 1865 Cognac.

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