A collection of rare Macallan expressions has just sold at an auction house in Hong Kong for nearly $1m. 

The Macallan in Lalique Legacy Collection – a set of six crystal decanters containing the rarest of Macallan’s single malts aged from 50 to 65 years old sold for $993,000 (£793,900) at an auction at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong.

The rare collection marks more than the grand finale in the prestigious Six Pillars odyssey – an exclusive series of limited edition decanters by Macallan and master French crystal maker, Lalique, inspired by the foundation stones upon which Macallan creates its exceptional whiskies.

As the world’s only complete collection, official and direct from Macallan, The Legacy Collection was listed in the Sotheby’s ‘Finest & Rarest Wines and The Macallan’ auction in Hong Kong on Sunday 2nd April, with all net proceeds to be donated to a number of charities.

Housed in a one and only, bespoke natural ebony cabinet created by Lalique Maison, The Legacy Collection also holds six Macallan Fine and Rare miniatures; two from each of the 1937, 1938 and 1939 vintages (signifying the zenith of Lalique’s contribution in the French Art Deco period), and six pairs of Lalique Macallan glasses, each serial numbered to commemorate the unique partnership. Autographs of the masters behind the collection are included inside the cabinet, which also allows space for the buyer to have their own name engraved within it as well.

Ken Grier, creative director for Macallan, said: “This remarkable conclusion to The Macallan in Lalique Six Pillars series is a symbol of the strength behind our long-standing partnership and our unwavering commitment to going beyond the ordinary.

“To achieve this outstanding price at auction is testament to the quality, detail and absolute skill and mastery of the Lalique craftsmen and our expert whisky makers, and we are proud that this work of art has secured a wonderful contribution to Asian charities.”

Silvio Denz, chairman and CEO of Lalique, said: “The unprecedented price achieved for The Macallan in Lalique Legacy Collection reflects the exceptional nature of the piece – a complete one off and highly collectable work of art which marries the two houses. Masters in their respective fields, Lalique and The Macallan are joined by mutual respect and an unwavering commitment to craft, artistry and beauty.

“Since our partnership first began in 2005, it has achieved a number of world record prices at auction and we are delighted to provide both The Macallan and Lalique connoisseurs the opportunity to own something truly remarkable whilst contributing to Asian charities.”

Robert Sleigh, senior director at Sotheby’s Asia, said: “It has been an honour for Sotheby’s to work with The Macallan and Lalique once again in offering this unique Macallan Collection that combines the exemplary artisanal skills of both Macallan and Lalique, to produce this once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire such a rare collectable item.

“The enthusiasm of over ten bidders in the room, online and over the phone demonstrates the importance with which global collectors regard The Macallan in Lalique Legacy Collection and the significance of its direct from the distillery provenance. It is fitting that it achieved a new world record for any lot of whisky ever sold at auction.”

The six exceptional whiskies contained within the cabinet are:

• Macallan in Lalique – Exceptional Oak Cask, 50 Years Old
• Macallan in Lalique – Natural Colour, 55 Years Old
• Macallan in Lalique – Finest Cut, 57 Years Old
• Macallan in Lalique – Curiously Small Stills, 60 Years Old
• Macallan in Lalique – Spiritual Home, 62 Years Old
• Macallan in Lalique – Peerless Spirit, 65 Years Old

Since its inception in 2005, the Macallan in Lalique Six Pillars series has captured the imagination of collectors around the world.

In 2014, Macallan accounted for the top ten priced bottles sold at auction; eight out of ten sales being decanters from the Macallan in Lalique series (Whisky Magazine).

In 2015, Macallan was the most valuable whisky brand at auction, accounting for over 25 per cent of the total value traded at auction (Rare Whisky 101).

The auction continues the strong relationship between Macallan and Sotheby’s, with the pair having previously worked together on both of the auction house’s world record auctions including, the Macallan 64-years-old in Lalique Cire Perdue Decanter in November 2010, which sold in New York for $460,000 (£368,700), and the Imperial M Decanter in January 2014, which sold in Hong Kong for $628,000 (£503,340).

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things whisky-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over six years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink.

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