February 16, 2012 / 11:44 AM / 7 years ago

Cognac of Napoleon's army for sale with collection

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch antique trader is selling his collection of over 5,000 unopened bottles of Cognac and other liquors, which he claims is the biggest of its kind.

The most precious bottle in Bay van der Bunt’s collection, which is valued at 6 million euros ($7.84 million), dates back to 1795 and was a Cognac taken by Napoleon’s army on campaign for the officers. Van der Bunt estimates that bottle is worth between 100,000 and 150,000 euros.

However, anyone interested in that particular bottle may be disappointed: he does not want to sell his bottles one by one, but would prefer to sell the entire collection, which was started by his great grandfather in 1880, to a single buyer by the end of this year.

“We are aiming at a wealthy Russian or Chinese buyer, because we think people from these countries are willing to spend their money on this,” said Bart Laming, who is handling the publicity for the sale.

Van der Bunt wants to sell his collection to someone with a passion for liquor, but also wants a buyer who is prepared to keep the bottles unopened rather than savoring their contents.

“In this respect we certainly are afraid that a potential buyer would empty some of them,” Laming said. “We will screen potential buyers to minimize that risk.”

($1 = 0.7654 euros)

Reporting by Tjibbe Hoekstra, editing by Paul Casciato

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