Dusty bottles of rum left in cellar for more than 100 YEARS set to fetch £12,000 auction

December 5, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

A dozen bottles of rum left to gather dust and cobwebs for more than 100 years are expected to fetch a whopping £12,000 at auction.

The light and dark rums date back to 1780 and are thought to be the oldest ever offered in public.

They were shipped over to the UK by the Lascelles family, a wealthy plantation owning dynasty who lived at Harewood House, near Leeds.

The book details when the rum was drunk

The book details when the rum was drunk

One of the bottles of rum now worth more than £1,000

One of the bottles of rum now worth more than £1,000



The bottles of rum that were left to gather dust for more than 100 years

The bottles of rum that were left to gather dust for more than 100 years

The family became wealthy through slavery, making their money in sugar, cotton, tobacco and rum, which was made in Barbados.

Lavish gatherings would be thrown at the Yorkshire mansion but the rum was used sparingly and forgotten about as the drink went out of fashion.

Only one or two bottles a year were drunk, with the exception of one day in December 1805 when a startling eight bottles were devoured.

In 2011, the rum was re-discovered hidden at the back of the cellar after being completely forgotten about for more than 100 years.

Wine trade professionals Mark Lascelles and Andy Langshaw found the spirits by chance while conducting an inventory of the cellar.

The remarkable bottles were almost invisible under a thick black coating of cobwebs and dust.

Christie’s has now been asked to sell the rum, with proceeds from the sale going to the Geraldine Connor Foundation, which looks to help youngsters with artistic talent.

Each of the 12 bottles, which are being sold separately, should fetch for in the region of £800 – £1,000.

In a statement the auction house said: “The exceptional provenance and quality of these spirits provide international connoisseurs and enthusiasts around the world with a rare opportunity.

“The collection is expected to realise in the region of £12,000.”

The spirits will go under the hammer at Christie’s ‘Finest and Rarest Wines and Spirits  including Rare Madeira’ sale on the 12 and 13 December 2013.

Both rums were distilled in Barbados and shipped in barrel before being bottled in Harewood.

They are offered in their original mould-blown bottles with replacement tapered corks and rewaxed capsules.

The light rum is described as being medium gold colour, high-toned and with intense brulee aromas of honey, cinnamon and baked apples.

The dark rum is “softer with intense aromas of spiced oranges, cedar and caramel”.

David Elswood, international director of Christi’s Wine in Europe and Asia, said: “Christie’s is delighted to be offering this rare and unique 1780 rum from Harewood House – the oldest we have ever seen.

“At 230 years of age, it is just 14 years younger than Christie’s wine auctions which commenced in 1766.”

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