An individual has struck gold after chancing upon a rare whisky presentation case valued at £138,600 on eBay, all for a mere sum of under £200.
Fraser, a whisky enthusiast of 58 years, promptly identified the item as the casing that once cradled a bottle of Macallan 1926 60 Year Old whisky, adorned with a label crafted by the esteemed Valerio Adami.
The whisky within this particular bottle hailed from the legendary cask #263.
The liquid contents from this cask were used to fill a total of 40 bottles. Remarkably, only 12 of these bottles bear the distinctive labels designed by the Italian painter Valerio Adami, renowned for his intricate, abstract artworks.
Nonetheless, records indicate that at least two of these precious bottles have either vanished or met their demise.
One reportedly met its end when it was uncorked and consumed many years ago, while another met its fate during the seismic tremors of a 2011 earthquake in Japan.
As a result of these unfortunate incidents, it is believed that only 10 bottles bearing Adami’s label remain in existence.
In the year 2020, a Valerio Adami edition of the 1926 60 Year Old whisky was sold in Perth for an astounding £924,000.
Fraser, hailing from Speyside, first kindled his interest in this exquisite libation when his spouse gifted him a Macallan Private Eye.
He reminisced, saying, “My voyage into whisky collecting commenced when my wife presented me with a Macallan Private Eye. I subscribed to the periodical, and my preferred dram at the time was a Macallan 10-year-old. It was the perfect gift, but one I deemed too exceptional to unseal.”
As time elapsed, the 58-year-old connoisseur began amassing a collection intertwined with this iconic brand.
He elaborated, stating, “I gradually shifted my collecting pursuits towards merchandise and memorabilia.”
“I had always admired the sheer brilliance of Macallan’s branding and advertising. So, locating and accumulating treasures ranging from coasters to playing cards and even exploring the realm of Albanian shopping centres brought me immense joy.”
He added, “My wife and I have engaged in extensive discourse about the distinction between obsession, as she puts it, and passion. Let’s simply say that I am ceaselessly on the lookout for additions to my collection.”
One fateful day, Fraser turned to eBay in pursuit of Macallan-related items.
His astonishment knew no bounds when he stumbled upon the extraordinarily scarce Macallan 1926 casing.
The window salesman, whose profession involved double-glazed windows, recounted, “While perusing eBay one day, I could scarcely trust my eyes. The initial image displayed a close-up of a minuscule plaque, engraved with four digits: 1926.
“I instantly discerned the plaque’s rightful place. Upon examining the entire set of images, there it was, affixed to ‘The Million Dollar Macallan Box.’
The 1926 Adami casing exhibited signs of wear; it lacked the base plinth and bore a perforation at its base, yet there was no doubt that it had once cradled one of the legendary 1926 Macallan bottles.
The starting bid for this invitation was a mere £199.”
Fraser ultimately emerged victorious, securing the item for the modest sum of £199.
A decade later, as he contemplated selling a portion of his collection, he sought the expertise of broker Mark Littler to appraise its worth.
He was taken aback when Mark Littler, a seasoned professional with over a decade of experience in the field, valued the casing at £138,600.
Mark commented, “Determining the value of this item is an exceedingly challenging task.”
However, it is worth noting that bottles of rare single malt whisky without their original packaging often fetch between 15-30% less at auction compared to those still enclosed in their original casings.
The £138,600 valuation is derived from 15% of the price of the last known sale of a 1926 Valerio Adami bottle (£924,000).
“I acknowledge that the appraisal of the casing may raise eyebrows, emphasizing the unique nature of whisky collecting.”
“The £138,600 price tag, though undoubtedly contentious for a casing, reflects the scarcity and desirability of the Macallan 1926 60-year-old.”
“For the individual in possession of the corresponding Macallan bottle, devoid of its original casing, this box is not mere packaging—it represents an essential element of the whisky’s heritage, rendering it priceless.”
Mark Littler Ltd was established in 2016 and formally incorporated in 2018. It currently stands as one of the foremost independent consultants and whisky brokers in the United Kingdom.
The firm has facilitated transactions worth millions of pounds, assisting in the sale of an array of items, ranging from Rolex timepieces to Micromosaic artworks, as well as bottles of whisky and even entire casks of the cherished spirit.
Mark pondered, “This is the casing for the world’s most expensive whisky—a bottle not intended for uncorking and consumption. So, where could the missing bottle belonging to this casing be?”
“The eBay vendor from whom Fraser acquired the casing was situated on the southern coast of England. Perhaps it remains there? It’s conceivable that someone unknowingly possesses the bottle through inheritance, unaware of its true value.”
“My advice would be to inspect the labels on any Macallan bottles you may possess. You could be harboring a small fortune on your shelf.”
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