Christie’s auction of the Henry Tang wine collection in Hong Kong in March was worth HKD 48,052,488 (USD 6,222,797 or GBP 4,100,342).
Tang is a prominent businessman who lost the election for the position of Hong Kong’s chief executive last year.
Ironically, the allegation that Tang had an unauthorized wine cellar under his house is believed to have been a factor in his defeat.
The auction featured only burgundy, from 1949 to 2010. Tang has been collecting wines for three decades. In the introduction to the catalogue he said he had too much wine and would not be able to consume it “even across multiple life times” and decided to sell some wine “so that others may experience my collection”.
The highest price paid during the two-day event was for six magnums of 1995 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC), which went for HKD 1.21 million (USD 156,695 or GBP 103,254).
The auction was the first worldwide where Prooftag Bubble Seal technology was used to ensure the provenance of the wine. Each bottle has a seal affixed to the neck. Buyers can scan the seal with their smartphone to go directly to a verification site on the web to prove authenticity.
Simon Tam, Head of Wine for Christie’s China, said this single-owner collection sale represented 71 Burgundy producers. More buyers came from Hong Kong than the mainland, and more were private buyers rather than restaurants, he said.
Published at DecanterChina.com in March 2013. Find a link here.
Simon Tam spoke with DecanterChina video reporter Stephen Quinn about the significance of this auction.