A three litre bottle of Chateau Mouton Rothschild, bearing a label designed by Picasso, topped the single bottles of red Bordeaux in Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ sale of Fine Wine, Port & Champagne on Thursday 20th February, selling for £1,093.
Mouton Rothschild was revolutionised by Baron Philippe de Rothschild when he blended his passion for wine with his love of art. For the 1945 vintage, de Rothschild celebrated the end of the Second World War by inviting French illustrator, Philippe Jullian, to design a V for Victory label. From there it became a tradition to commission artists of the era to design wine labels for the Chateau. Most recently the French painter and sculptor Gay de Rougemount, well-known for his use of vibrant geometric motifs, designed the 2011 label. This 1973 example is en homage à Picasso, using a gauche painting produced by Picasso in December 1959 as the label to commemorate the year of his death. [Lot 229]
1973 also marked the year that Mouton Rothschild was elevated from Second growth to First growth status. ‘First-growth’ is a term originally used in 1855 to classify the top wines from the Bordeaux region with only four other properties sharing this coveted title.
The Chateau Mouton Rothschild opened the Museum of Wine in Art in 1945 and describe it as; “A magical place where so many artists and art forms, cultures & religions bear resounding witness to the eternal and fruitful dialogue between art & wine”. As testament to Baron Philippe de Rothschild’s enduring love of art, last year the Chateau opened another art gallery to house their travelling exhibition of wine labels.
Other wines from the Rothschild stable in the sale included six bottles of Chateau Mouton Rothschild, 1967, with labels designed by leading French sculptor César Baldaccini, which sold for £1,150, [Lot 285] and a magnum of 1958 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, which sold for £690. [Lot 232]
Other top-class Bordeaux in the sale included a case of 12 Chateau Haut Brion, 1967, which sold for £1,840. Chateau Haut Brion, like Chateau Mouton Rothschild, is one of the five first growth wines from the Bordeaux region. It is believed to have been growing grapes since Roman times and is now owned by Prince Robert of Luxembourg of the Dillon family. [Lot 284]
The sale was held at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ Donnington Priory Saleroom and a full list of sale results is available to view online at www.dreweatts.com
• Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ will be holding an online sale of Cognac, Whisky and other Rare Spirits on Thursday 20th March 2014.
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Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions are a UK 'top 5’ auctioneer of fine art and collectibles. As part of The Stanley Gibbons Group plc we are the only UK stock-exchange listed firm of auctioneers and occupy the same stable as coin specialists Baldwin’s, and Apex