Single bottle of scotch sells for £8,500

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At £340 a shot, it will be the most expensive glass raised in the Cotswolds this Christmas – a very special bottle of whisky has sold at an auction in Cirencester for £8,500.

The 70cl decanter of Macallan’s Millennium was the jewel in the crown of this year’s pre-Christmas selected antiques and wine & spirits sale at Moore Allen & Innocent, where it exceeded its £3,000 to £5,000 estimate to make the top price of the day.

Bottled to mark the turn of the millennium, the Speyside single malt whisky was distilled in January 1949 and stored in Spanish oak sherry casks until it was released into Caithness lead free crystal decanters in August 1999.

The whisky came in its original presentation box, together with leaflets and original outer cardboard delivery box. And the £8,500 hammer price means each of the 28 pub measures will be worth £340 to the lucky soul who gets to drink it this Christmas – assuming it gets opened at all.

For the same money, the bidder could have driven away a new budget hatchback, spent three nights at the Royal Suite of the Ritz – with the services of a butler – or flown across the globe in first class seats to Sydney, Australia – and flown back again in the same comfort.

The sale, on Friday 6 December, saw some good hammer prices. A pair of circa 1900 Georgian-style Howard & Sons wing back scroll armchairs with maker’s stamp to the leg was snapped up for £2,500, while a gold ring with five diamonds weighing in at 2.2 carats – possibly bought for a Christmas engagement – achieved £2,200.

A group of six campaign medals awarded to a Colonel T Heron, including the Queen Victoria Sudan medal, the Khedives Sudan medal, and the Queen Victoria South Africa medal, fetched £2,200, while a Chinese Ch’ien Lung famille rose oval platter decorated with peacock and hen amongst flowers, together with a smaller rectangular platter, warmer plate and soup bowl, was sold for £1,850.

Ideal for chiming in the New Year, an 18th century long case clock by George Hewitt of Marlborough returned to the county of its birth after making £1,550, while a 1930s Garrard & Co clock and a 19th century French garniture clock set by Japy Frères Paris each achieved £1,350.

As is traditional at the last sale before Christmas, there was also a large selection of toys on offer. The top achievers, however, are more likely to be found on a shelf than in a nursery.

Eight cased sets of Tradition Soldiers for Collectors by Britains – including Royal Horse Artillery 1815, French Horse Artillery of the Guard 1812, and Sharpe The 95th Rifles – achieved £580, while the first lot of the day – a collection of Britains lead painted model soldiers including Kingcast, Under Two Flags, and King & Country – was sold for £400.

The next sale at Moore Allen & Innocent will be held on Friday, January 3. For a full auction catalogue, log on to

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