Dutch spirits collector Bay van der Bunt probably has the most valuable collection of old liquor in the world, but he isn’t interested in auctioning it. Instead he’s looking for a single buyer, probably from the new markets of China and Russia, for his $7.9m collection, which includes a hand-blown 6-litre jeroboam of 1795 Brugerolle that traveled with Napoleon’s army. The last of its kind in the world, it has an estimated value of $189,000.There’s a 1796 Napoleon cognac worth $34,500 in his collection, and a Courvoisier & Curlier from 1789, the year of the French revolution. “They were storming the Bastille when that one was made,” says van der Bunt. Its estimated value is $65,000. Considered even more valuable at $70,000 is a 1938 Remy Martin Louis XIII, a special edition cognac blended from more than 1200 brandies and presented during the royal banquet of Queen Elizabeth and King George VI. Van der Bunt’s hope is that the buyer will keep the collection intact. “I fear people will drink them, “ he says. “This will be more than a pity. It will be barbaric. Just barbaric.”
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