Bonhams HK presents wine and spirit sale in May

London auction house Bonhams is to hold an auction in May, offering complete Japanese whisky sets for budding collectors with bidding starting from US$320.

Bonhams is presenting its “Fine and Rare Wine & Whisky Sale” on 16 May in Hong Kong, featuring a group of limited edition Japanese whisky series – most of them complete – from a myriad of world renowned distilleries such as Yamazaki, Hanyu, Chichibu and Hakushu.

As the recent sales at Bonhams reflect, the demand for Japanese whisky is strong with an average sell-through rate of 90%. In August 2019, Bonhams set a new world auction record for a Japanese whisky set, as Hanyu Ichiro’s Full Card Series sold for HK$7,192,000 to an Asian female collector, nearly doubling the previous record set in 2015, also by Bonhams.

Daniel Lam, Bonhams’ director of Wine & Spirits, Asia, commented: “Collecting by series is often considered the ultimate pursuit for any dedicated whisky collector. It takes a great deal of time and perseverance to acquire each bottle in the market, and therefore when a set is complete, it brings no less joy than a trophy bottle. It is rare that a full series – especially in the case of Japanese whisky – comes onto the market. But when it does, it holds more value than the individual bottles added together, and will surely be hotly-contested.”

Some of the highlights of the sale are a complete set of 16 bottles Suntory Yamazaki and Hakushu Vintage Malt 1st Edition-1979-1994 (estimate: HK$600,000 – 800,000), 11 bottles of The Ghost Series Japanese Whisky (1st to 12th Edition) (estimate: HK$820,000 – 1,100,000) and the largest group of Chichibu whisky ever offered at auction in Asia (estimate: HK$30,000 – 40,000).

Over 50 Scotch and Japanese whiskies have been targeted at budding whisky collectors. Ranging from HK$2,500 to HK$15,000, these bottles – all from sought-after distilleries – carry estimates lower than the current market price, such as Karuizawa-8 year old (bottled 1990’s Mercian) (estimate: HK$4,500 – 6,000), Macallan Speymalt-1973-30 year old (estimate: HK$13,000 – 18,000) and Chichibu-2019-#5821-Mount Bukō (estimate: HK$7,000 – 9,000).

Some of the selected wine lots in the sales are a Domaine Armand Rousseau vertical 1998-2009 (estimate: HK$230,000 – 280,000), a magnum of Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Eiswein 2016 (estimate HK$20,000 – 26,000) and bottles of Chateau d’Yquem in six-litre format spanning three decades of from the 1980s to the 2000s, including legendary vintages of 1985, 1989, 1990 and 2001 (estimates range from HK$8,000 to 12,000).

The sale is planned to be conducted live behind closed doors. Bids will be accepted in the following formats: online, on the telephone with a member of client services, or by leaving an absentee bid. You can browse the catalogue here.

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