A collection of Lafite spanning 1981 to 2005 sold for HK$4.2 million (£336,000) at a Christie's auction in Hong Kong on Saturday. Despite setting a new world record - the most expensive wine lot ever sold at auction - the collection failed to match its pre-sale high estimate of HK$4.5 million.
Overall, the two-day sale was a success, raising £4.7 million against a pre-sale estimate of £3.7 million. More than 570 lots went under the hammer, including those featuring the top names from Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne. Bidders' enthusiasm for Lafite, however, was somewhat tepid. This is particularly interesting in light of the First Growth's recent descent. (Read more here.)
Lafite's relatively lacklustre performance can be seen from the table below, which compares the Liv-ex Mid Price to Lafite hammer prices. Please note that the Liv-ex Mid Price is a trade-to-trade price and does not include merchant margins. It represents the price merchants could expect to achieve when selling wine on the secondary market. (End-consumers could expect to pay 10 to 25 per cent more.) Because we are approaching the auction results from a seller's perspective, and the buyer's premium does not go to the vendor, we have used hammer prices for our analysis.
As you can see from the table below, all of the vintages sold at a discount to the Liv-ex Mid Price.