Bonhams will offer a bottle of 60-year-old 1923 Macallan whisky featuring a label by acclaimed pop artist Peter Blake in its May 18 sale in Hong Kong.
Blake is best known as the man behind the Beatles’ iconic Sgt Pepper cover. He was commissioned to create this label by Macallan for its top clients in 1986. Only 12 were made, hence the valuation of £330,000-425,000 ($458,614-590,639).
Another bottle of the 1923 whisky, also produced in a run of 12 and featuring a label designed by the Italian painter Valerio Adami, carries an identical estimate. Both bottles are housed in their original elaborate wooden “Tantaluse” cases.
Daniel Lam, head of wine and whisky at Bonhams Hong Kong, said: “These bottles are incredibly rare.
“The exceptional calibre of the whisky combined with the wonderful artwork from two towering figures of 20th century Pop Art – Peter Blake and Valerio Adami – represent a unique marriage of excellence.
“Only 24 of these bottles were produced, and the sale is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for collectors to acquire the Holy Grail of Macallan.”
Macallan is the world’s top performing whisky at auction, with a record of $2.9m set for a sherry hogshead cask of the 30-year-old last year. All the big results are being set in Asia, where Macallan has become a status symbol.
Prices are rising for these limited edition bottles as a result. They are likely to continue rising as the supply dwindles (Chinese buyers, unlike their western counterparts, actually drink these rare bottles).