A special Lalique demijohn decanter, filled with a 155-year-old vintage from Portuguese port specialist Niepoort, is expected to cause a stir in Hong Kong on November 3, when it crosses the blocks at wine auctioneer Acker Merrall & Condit. Bidding starts at $20,000.
The decanter is one of only five vessels created by Lalique’s artistic and creative director Marc Larminaux, which are engraved with the names of one of the five generations of van der Niepoorts – the Dutch family that founded the wine business in 1842. This particular decanter bears the name of its founder, Francisco Marius van der Niepoort, and is filled with an 1863 vintage poured straight from an original 1905 Niepoort demijohn decanter that had been preserved in the house’s cellar. “It is a big wine but very refined. Not too sweet but highly concentrated,” says fifth-generation owner Dirk van der Niepoort.
Larminaux drew inspiration from the historic vessel to create his contemporary decanter design. “It was refined, simple and elegant in shape,” he says, “with a masculine and weighty quality.” Each piece was made using the cire perdue or lost-wax technique, which requires years for a craftsman to master, and is presented in a bespoke Macassar ebony cabinet, with a delicate crystal grape motif.