Douglas Bunns wine cellar from Hickstead Place achieved a total of £284,000 with some 99 per cent sold at Bonhams
Sale of Fine Wine at New Bond Street on February 10th. The pre-sale estimate was £200,000.
Top item in the sale, Lot 33, a case of Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1982 (12 bottles), made £39,100 and Lot 99, a bottle of Hermitage, La Chapelle, 1961, was the most expensive item in the sale at £ 4,945. The whole sale of which this collection formed a part made £728,400 with 98 per cent sold.
Master of Wine, Richard Harvey, who heads Bonhams Wine Department, comments: This collection sold really well because of its impeccable provenance. Douglas Bunn obviously had a good eye for a horse but he had an equally good palate. His wine collection was superb and included all the names one would expect in a cellar of this calibre.
In building the reputation and growing success of Hickstead, Bunn was also renowned for hosting lavish parties and the cellar was a testament to Douglas Bunns knowledge and expertise in buying fine wine.
The sale featured case quantities of Lafite, Mouton, Margaux, La Mission and Leoville Las Cases from the magnificent 1982 vintage, Chave Hermitage and La Chapelle 1978 and Lafon's Meursault. But the cellar also contained a wide range of esoteric and interesting bottles.
Hickstead Place was the home of Douglas Bunn, considered to be the most influential and innovative person in the modern development of British show-jumping. Through the creation, in 1960, of the All England Jumping Course at Hickstead, West Sussex, Bunn raised the profile of British showjumping to international status and ensured that Britain could compete on equal terms with other leading showjumping nations.
Renowned for the challenging 10ft 6in Derby Bank, the precipitous cliff edge that Bunn described as the supreme test for horse and rider, Hickstead has hosted nine world and European championships and currently holds two major international shows each year.
Bunn was a former international showjumper, alongside his career as a barrister- it was not unusual for him to go into court with his white riding breeches beneath striped trousers and gown! However, through trips abroad with the British showjumping team in the late 1950s, Bunn realised that Britain was lagging behind other European countries in facilities to host top international competitions. By 1960 Bunn decided to act and Hickstead was established, creating a venue "superior to anything found elsewhere in the world" according to him.