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Forbes Malcolm

The American publisher Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990) is a collector of curios; including old wines. He paid at one of Christie's on 5 December 1985 auction for a bottle Château Lafite-Rothschild Vintage 1787 incredible 105,000 pounds ($ 160,000). He is thus absolutely most expensive wine in the world, The seller was the German wine collector Hardy Rodenstock (1941-2018). According to his story, this bottle was together with eleven other same winery and vintage, as well as other very old wines of Château Margaux. Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château d'Yquem Walled in the wall of a cellar discovered in Paris. However, he never mentioned the name of the finder or the location of the find. Experts from the auction house had previously confirmed after examinations that glass and engraving actually come from the 18th century. Rodenstock later invoked this fact (although these facts are not a clear proof of the authenticity of the wine contained therein).

The bottle of dark green glass was closed with a cork sealed with thick black wax. On the belly part the letters "Th.J.", the year "1787" and "Lafitte" (sic - at that time the name was still written with two "t") were engraved into the glass. After the initials to close it thus (maybe) formerly belonged to the third US President Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826). He was at that time US Ambassador to Paris and a great lover of French wines. It was concluded that he had forgotten to take the bottles when he returned to the United States. The famous Degustator Michael Broadbent auctioning started at £ 10,000, upping to £ 105,000 in just two minutes. The highest bidder was Christopher Forbes, the son of Malcolm Forbes.

Forbes had had a private museum adapted in New York, where he had set up, among other things, the entire Oval Office from the founding days of the US Republic specifically to the Jefferson era. There, Jefferson's original dining table was also on display, and Forbes is said to have said, "That this old bottle bears the initials Th.J. would make it quite apart " . He also said, "This bottle is more fun than the opera goblin that Abraham Lincoln held in his hand when he was shot. And we have that too " . The filling level was extremely high for a bottle of that age, just half an inch under the cork. Tragically, however, it was exhibited in this museum under bright, hot light. The cork Crumbled and the precious contents spoiled in a short time. The wine would have been drunk as a pure prestige object anyway. Later, other Lafite 1787 bottles were acquired by US billionaire William Koch. As a result, there were forgeries, lawsuits and settlements, see the detailed story under Hardy Rodenstock,

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