• Press release
  • |
  • New York
  • |
  • For immediate release
  • |
  • 10 December 2018

RESULTS: Christie's Finest Wines & Spirits totals $3.01 million, December 7, New York

(left to right) The Liberty Hall Museum Collection of Historic Madeira, Top lot: Old Sercial Madeira 1846, 15-gallon demi john per lot, Price realized: $39,200; Extraordinary Collection of Pre-Prohibition Whiskey from J.B. Leonis, Top lot: J. H. Beam Old Style Brookhill, Sour Mash 1912, 9 quarts per lot, Price realized: $26,950.

New York – Christie’s New York Finest Wines and Spirits Including the Liberty Hall Museum Collection of Historic Madeira and an Extraordinary Collection of Pre-Prohibition Whiskey achieved a total of $3,015,521 with 81% sold by value and 81% sold by lot. The top lot of the sale was a 15-gallon demi john of Old Sercial Madeira, 1846, from The Liberty Hall Museum Collection of Historic Madeira, which sold for $39,200. Taking place concurrently was the Wine Online Sale (19 November – 5 December), which realized a total of $519,278 with 100% sold by value and 86% sold by lot.

Chris Munro, Head of Wine Department, Americas, comments: "Both of our featured collections of Madeira and Pre-Prohibition American Whiskey witnessed exceptional results. Clients from throughout the United States and around the globe fought to acquire these exceptionally rare lots.  The sale was a watershed moment for these incredibly rare and sought-after American whiskies as hammer prices smashed through our pre-sale estimates.”

Day Session, Lots 1-516, 10am

The day sale witnessed strong results for the remarkable collection of fine wines including rare Burgundy from renowned Domaines. Notable results included a full case of Château d’Yquem 1959 in its original Nicolas wooden case, which achieved $18,375, and a twelve bottle cases of Heitz Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from the famed 1974 vintage in their original cartons, more than doubled its low estimate realizing $34,300. Additionally, the selection of wine from the personal cellar of Dr. Robert Maliner performed exceptionally well.

Evening Session, Lots 517-796, 6pm

The evening session included probably the greatest collection of historic Madeira and spirits ever to be offered for sale at auction in the United States. Led by The Liberty Hall Collection of Rare Madeira (lots 557-616), top lots included unique demi johns, recently discovered in the historic property in New Jersey, including an Old Sercial Madeira which sold for $39,200. The twenty single-bottle lots of the mythical, eighteenth century Lenox Madeira also performed with exceptional results.

The auction closed with an unprecedented collection of 100-year-old pre-prohibition whiskey belonging to Jean-Baptiste Leonis recently discovered on the West Coast (lots 744-787). Many lots exceeded initial estimates by multiples, including J. H. Beam Old Style Brookhill Sour Mash 1912, 9 quarts per lot, which realized $26,950, against a low estimate of $3,800.

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi, 2017), for a single collection sale (the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, 2018), and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019).

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.