Twelve bottles of rum dating from 1780 found - and then sold for 80,000


Blackleaf
#1
12 bottles of rum dating back to 1780 were found in a cellar in a country house near Leeds - and then were sold by Harrogate Fine Wine Company for a whopping 80,000 at Christie's in London.

The bottles - which were covered in cobwebs and layers of dust when found - were valued at 600-800 per bottle - but they were sold for more than six times the pre-sale estimate, fetching as much as 8,225 each.

David Elswood, International Director of Christie’s Wine in Europe and Asia said: 'We are thrilled with the results for the sale of The 1780 Harewood Rum.


'The twelve bottles of dark and light rum sold for a total of 78,255, making it both the oldest and most valuable Rum ever sold at auction by Christie’s.'


Rum rations were once issued to Royal Navy sailors, a tradition which didn't end until 31st July 1970 - Black Tot Day.


Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of 8,000 rum! 12 mouldy bottles of 18th century spirit sell for 80,000 after being discovered languishing in cellar of Harewood House since 1780s.


Bottles were discovered while staff performed inventory of country house

Were bottled up in 1780 and were initially valued at up to 800 each

But the spirit sold for up to six-times its pre-sale estimate

Owners said the country house had historic links to the Caribbean


By Wills Robinson
4 March 2014
Daily Mail


The 18th Century bottles of rum were discovered in a cellar at Harewood House near Leeds, West Yorkshire. The house is owned by the eighth Earl of Harewood

It was bottled up 235 years ago and has been left to gather dust in a cellar ever since.

But this historic collection of rum has become the most expensive in history, after fetching 80,000 at auction.

The rare 18th century spirit was discovered in the basement of Harewood House in Leeds while staff performed an inventory.


The bottles date back to around 1780 and were valued at 600-800 per bottle

Harrogate Fine Wine Company then sold the alcohol at an auction hosted by Christie's in London.

Mark Lascelles, brother of the eighth Earl of Harewood, who owns the Grade II listed country house in Yorkshire said: 'I had always known the bottles were down there but I wouldn’t have given them another look.


'But when my late father asked us to do an inventory we thought we might take one and test it out, even though the mould was pretty unsavoury.


'They were obviously pretty old, as they had clearly been hand blown.


Harrogate Fine Wine Company sold the pricey tipple at Christie's Fine and Rare Wines sale in London, fetching a sum of 78,255

'We brought a bottle back to the shop and it took maybe half an hour to get the mould off, and then another half an hour to get the cork out.'

The bottles date back to around 1780 and were valued at 600-800 per bottle - but they were sold for more than six times the pre-sale estimate, fetching as much as 8,225 each.


David Elswood, International Director of Christie’s Wine in Europe and Asia said: 'We are thrilled with the results for the sale of The 1780 Harewood Rum.


'The twelve bottles of dark and light rum sold for a total of 78,255, making it both the oldest and most valuable Rum ever sold at auction by Christie’s.'


All of the proceeds from the sale went to the Geraldine Connor Foundation - a charity that helps young people in performing arts that has strong links with Harewood House.

Co-director of the foundation Shiela Haworth said: 'This money will be a stepping stone encouraging us to start this year’s summer school, meaning young people can get involved straight away.


'Young people are lost in the summer holidays, but for six long weeks they can work with professionals and at the end of it they have themselves a performance.'


Andy Langshaw, who also owns the house, said: 'The idea had always been to raise money for some kind of British Caribbean charity or foundation, and we have succeeded spectacularly at that.


'It is a once in a lifetime discovery for someone in the wine trade and it has been a privilege to be involved.'


Mr Lascelles added that the discovery of the rum made perfect sense, given the links between Harewood House and the Caribbean - some of the rum has now been returned to Barbados.


Trade: The owners of the Grade II country house said the rum may have been there as a result of the estate's historic links to the Caribbean







Discovery: Staff at the Yorkshire country house found the bottles while performing an inventory. Each bottle was initially valued at 800, but some sold for six times their pre-sale estimate


FROM SUGAR CANE PLANTS IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA TO THE DECKS OF ROYAL NAVY SHIPS: A HISTORY OF RUM


Royal drink: Princess Anne (pictured in the white sun hat) had a 'tot' of Navy rum aboard the Bulldog-class HMS Fox in 1969

The first stage of the rum-making process is to cultivate and harvest sugar cane by hand.


Historically, it came from Papua New Guinea, but now plantations can be found all over the world, with many based in the Caribbean.

The cut cane is transported to a mill where it is crushed by a machine.

After being cooked it is fermented, in an open vat or in labratory conditions, and is then distilled in a heated container.

Some rums are simply bottled fresh from the still. However most types of are kept heated for longer and some are infused with herbs and spices.

Most of the spirit is then diluted with water - at some point prior to bottling - which gives it around a 50 per cent alcohol volume.

It was in the West Indies that the rum became a popular drink with members of the British Navy.


Explorers who had gone to the Caribbean to make money out of metal, found it was more lucrative to deal in sugar.

This meant thousands of sugar works were set up around the islands and nearly every plantation employed a copper pot still to make alcohol from the fermented skimmings and molasses.

In 1655 Admiral Penn of the English fleet captured Jamaica from the Spanish.


While celebrating his victory, he authorised that rum should to replace the official beer ration.

When he sailed from Jamaica he found that the rum had the natural advantage of remaining sweet in the cask for much longer than water or beer.

For the next 300 years, sailors were issued a daily 'tot' of the sugar-cane drink.

The spirit would also be sold to sailors to bring in extra revenue but more importantly, it attracted a naval presence that deterred pirates lurking in the area.

But in 1740, Admiral Edward Vernon claimed, ‘the vice of drunkenness is but too visibly increasing in our mariners’ and he reduced the ration by a quart (just over a litre) of water to every half pint of rum.

The drunkenness was cured by drinking of tea and cocoa on ships. However, it was still a threat to naval efficiency so in 1850 the rum ration was fixed at an eighth of a pint, until it was abolished in 1970.

The last Navy issue took place on 31 July 1970 known as ‘Black Tot Day’.





Read more: Bottles of 18th century rum sell for 80k after being found in Harewood House cellar | Mail Online
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Last edited by Blackleaf; Mar 4th, 2014 at 01:32 PM..
 
Tecumsehsbones
#2
Quote: Originally Posted by BlackleafView Post

12 bottles of rum dating back to 1780 were found in a cellar in a country house near Leeds - and then were sold by Harrogate Fine Wine Company for a whopping 80,000 at Christie's in London.

Shouldn't that be a "Wapping" 80,000 pounds?

I won't even mention that rum ain't fine wine, no matter how old it is.
 
Blackleaf
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Shouldn't that be a "Wapping" 80,000 pounds?

That's a good point.

Quote:

I won't even mention that rum ain't fine wine, no matter how old it is.

It was Harrogate Fine Wines who found the rum.
 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#4  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by BlackleafView Post

That's a good point.


It was Harrogate Fine Wines who found the rum.

No it wasn't. It was the staff of Harewood House. Why do you lie?
 
Blackleaf
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

No it wasn't. It was the staff of Harewood House. Why do you lie?


Rare rum discovered by Harrogate wine company raises almost 80,000 for charity



Andy Langshaw (left) and Mark Lascelles with the old rum bottle at Harrogate Fine Wine Company



by James Metcalf
james.metcalf@jpress.co.uk (external - login to view)
Harrogate Advertiser
4 March 2014

The oldest rum ever sold at auction has also become the most expensive, fetching almost 80,000 for 12 bottles.

The bottles were uncovered by Harrogate Fine Wine Company owner Andy Langshaw and Mark Lascelles (brother of the eighth Earl of Harewood) when they were carrying out an inventory of the cellars at Harewood House in 2011.


Rare rum discovered by Harrogate wine company raises almost 80,000 for charity - Harrogate Advertiser (external - login to view)
 
bill barilko
#6
No word from anyone who actually tasted the stuff.
 
coldstream
#7
Providing the liquor was properly distilled, bottled and kept away from light and heat there is no shelf life for unopened bottled liquor. At least none that's known, I don't know if anyone has tried 200+ year old liquor. Whatever the case it'll spoil quickly when opened.

And its certainly won't get any better with age in the bottle. So it looks like this stuff will sit in someone's cellar as an ornament.. never consumed. I'd just as soon pay top dollar for 17 Year Old Blended Ballantine.. maybe a $100 a bottle.. and put the other $150M to something more useful.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by BlackleafView Post

Rare rum discovered by Harrogate wine company raises almost 80,000 for charity



Andy Langshaw (left) and Mark Lascelles with the old rum bottle at Harrogate Fine Wine Company



by James Metcalf
james.metcalf@jpress.co.uk (external - login to view)
Harrogate Advertiser
4 March 2014

The oldest rum ever sold at auction has also become the most expensive, fetching almost 80,000 for 12 bottles.

The bottles were uncovered by Harrogate Fine Wine Company owner Andy Langshaw and Mark Lascelles (brother of the eighth Earl of Harewood) when they were carrying out an inventory of the cellars at Harewood House in 2011.


Rare rum discovered by Harrogate wine company raises almost 80,000 for charity - Harrogate Advertiser (external - login to view)

Better. You win, I lose. My sword, sir.
 
L Gilbert
#9
The bottles would be worth something, but not the rum, I agree.
Ballantine's isn't rum, BTW, and it's blended even. Also, you could pay up to around 500 for their 30 yr old grog.
 
coldstream
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by L GilbertView Post

The bottles would be worth something, but not the rum, I agree.
Ballantine's isn't rum, BTW, and it's blended even. Also, you could pay up to around 500 for their 30 yr old grog.

I knew that, but i don't like Rum. I'm surprised there's even much of a market for this since Rum is generally not known to age to rare vintage in the cask. Ballantine's 17 Year Old is considered superior to most Single Malts by some connoisseurs. I generally find Single Malts have a little too much attitude and lack some of the complexity of excellent blends.
 
L Gilbert
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by coldstreamView Post

I knew that, but i don't like Rum. I'm surprised there's even much of a market for this since Rum is generally not known to age to rare vintage in the cask. Ballantine's 17 Year Old is considered superior to most single malts by some connoisseurs. I generally find single malts have a little too much attitude and lack some of the complexity of excelllent blends.

The better rums tend to age quite well, but not in glass. Appleton Estate, a Jamaican rum and my preferred, is aged up to 50 years. The 8 yr old does me well. My backup is Mount Gay, a rum from Barbados, which can also be found to have aged up to 30 years.
 
darkbeaver
#12
I had an encounter with a forty OZ bottle of Mount Gay about six summers ago. It should be banned.
It tasted very good but the damage to my cabin was horrific.
 
lone wolf
#13
For the price, it had best have bang....
 

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