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Is this the most expensive bottle of liqueur in the world?

PUBLISHED: 11:21 31 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:08 31 January 2020

The bottle of 1968 Chartreuse VEP  PIcture: JAMES SHAND

The bottle of 1968 Chartreuse VEP PIcture: JAMES SHAND

James Shand/ Clarke & Simpson

Suffolk auctioneers are toasting what they believe may be a record price for a single bottle of liqueur.

Auction centre manager Geoffrey Barfoot with the bottle of 1968 Chartreuse VEP  PIcture: JAMES SHANDAuction centre manager Geoffrey Barfoot with the bottle of 1968 Chartreuse VEP PIcture: JAMES SHAND

A bottle of 1968 Chartreuse VEP (Vieillissement Exceptionnellement Prolongé) fetched an eye-watering £1,200 when it went under the hammer on Monday, January 27.

It was part of a batch produced to commemorate the Winter Olympics in Grenoble in France - and could have ended up down the bottle bank when it was discovered during a house spring clean, explained James Durrant, of Framlingham and Campsea Ashe-based auctioneers Clarke and Simpson.

"Following a clear out by the vendors, it could have easily been thrown away - but found its way into our auction," he explained.

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"At the sale it was hotly contested by a number of bidders including wine dealers from London and Paris and it eventually saw the hammer fall at £1200 - plus Buyers' Premium - to a London buyer, much to the amazement of the vendors.

"Research has shown that this price exceeds all previous published sold prices and it is possibly a world record for a single bottle - although we cannot confirm this."

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The vendor is from Rushmere, near Ipswich, and the buyer who snapped it up online was a wine dealer - but both wish to remain anonymous.

The bottle was offered up at Clarke & Simpson's regular Monday auction sale.

Auctioneer Geoff Barfoot said the heated online bidding for the bottle, which is from an historic label originally made by Carthusian monks using a range of herbs, had caught them by surprise - as it had a guide price of just £40 to £60.

The vendors were "very surprised and delighted", he added.

The bottle was "dirty and grubby" and didn't look "anything too exciting", he added.

"It greatly surprised us in view of the condition," he said.

He added: "We are quite used to all sorts of surprises."

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