Eleven bottles of champagne that were recovered from a shipwreck have just sold for $156,000 at an auction in Finland.
The champagne (six bottles of Juglar, four of Veuve Clicquot, and one of Heidsieck) was sitting at the bottom of the Baltic Sea for nearly 170 years until it was discovered by divers in 2010. The discovery yielded 162 bottles.
The 11 bottles sold for a total of $156,000. One of the Veuve Clicquot bottles was sold for close to $20,000 on its own.
Christian Ekstroem, 33, who was on the dive that uncovered the old champagne, said:
“We didn’t know what we had found at first… I brought a bottle up and the closer I got to the surface, I had to hold the cork down with my thumb. It popped when I was in the boat, so we poured some into cups. We had no idea how valuable it was.”
That taste may be the last that Ekstroem or his fellow divers ever receive of the valuable champagne. According to Bloomberg, wrecks more than 100-years-old belong to the government. Which means that Ekstroem hasn’t seen any revenue from expensive champagne.
“We’ve had nothing, not even a thank you… It’s not even about the money.”
The most recent auction brought in some big money, but according to Bloomberg, the most expensive bottle of champagne was sold last June. A bottle of Vueve Clicquot, from the same stockpile of shipwreck champagne, sold for close to $40,000.