Port from 1863 sets new world auction record

Chris Mercer – Decanter – 26 March 2019

This is the second of five Lalique demijohns of the Niepoort 1863. Credit: Lalique

A newly released bottle of 156-year-old Niepoort in a Lalique crystal decanter has become the most expense Port sold at auction after fetching more than HK$1m, according to those involved in the sale.

Hong Kong’s Grand Hyatt hotel was the venue for the new Port auction record, in a sale organised by Sotheby’s.

A buyer paid HK$1.054m (US$134,000; £102,000) for the Niepoort in Lalique 1863. All proceeds will go to The Nature Conservancy charity.

The previous world record was set in November last year for a bottle of the same Port, also in Lalique, after a buyer paid HK$992,000 at an Acker, Merrall & Condit auction.

There are five Lalique demijohn decanters of the rare Niepoort 1863, each engraved with the name of one of the five generations of the van der Niepoort family, said Lalique following last weekend’s Sotheby’s auction.

Detail on the decanter shows the signature Lalique grapevine pattern. Credit: Lalique.

Two decanters have now been sold at auction, with the second a tribute to Eduard Karel Jacob van der Niepoort.

Dirk van der Niepoort, of the fifth generation and who runs the company today, said, ‘We are thrilled to achieve another landmark price for what is the oldest Port we have ever bottled.’

Silvio Denz, chairman and CEO of Lalique, said: ‘This new world record highlights the exceptional nature of the decanters and the remarkable quality of the Niepoort 1863. We are delighted that all net proceeds from the sale will benefit a charity that carries out hugely important work to preserve nature.’

There have been several auction records in recent months.

A bottle of DRC Romanée-Conti 1945 set a new record for wine in general after selling for $558,000 at a Sotheby’s sale in October 2018.

In November, Christie’s sold a bottle of The Macallan 1926 60 Year Old for £1.2m, breaking new ground for single malt Scotch whisky.

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