A rare case of Chinese liquor sold Friday in London for nearly $1.4 million, CNN reported Monday.
Sotheby’s, an international marketplace for collectors and connoisseurs of “fine art and rare objects,” sold 24 bottles of Kweichow Moutai “Sunflower” 1974. A bidding ad from the auction house stated the liquor was China’s “most famous spirit.”
The liquor “Sun Flower” Moutai was first introduced in 1969, with the last batch coming out into the market around 1983, according to Sotheby’s. The single lot of Moutai received the highest price ever paid at an auction, CNN reported.
Sotheby’s announced an Asian collector purchased the lot of Moutai, which was originally only estimated to be sold for £200,000 to £450,000.
“We have seen some spectacular results for Moutai sold in Hong Kong, but this momentous price takes the baijiu spirit’s standing amongst collectors to new heights,” said Sotheby’s Moutai specialist Paul Wong, according to CNN. (RELATED: South Africa Bans Liquor Sales Amid COVID-19 Spike)
“Whilst current travel restrictions may prevent our clients from moving around, this has proved no impediment to the growing momentum of Moutai’s popularity outside Asia,” Wong added.
The liquor has been dubbed “firewater” because it contains 53% alcohol. It was known as the favorite drink of Chinese dictator Mao Zedong and was used as the “drink of diplomacy” to welcome President Richard Nixon to China in 1972, according to CNN.