Rémy Martin’s prized Louis XIII Cognac—aged up to 100 years, name-checked by pop stars, and a symbol of luxury since its creation in 1874—just got even more exclusive. On September 10 in New York, the brand will partner with Sotheby’s to auction off the first of three rare blends of Louis XIII, dubbed L’Odyssée d’un Roi, created to honor the brand’s longstanding ties to luxury travel: the Cognac has been served on the bar cart of the Orient Express, the first-class lounge of ocean liner S.S. Normandie, and the Concorde.
A historic collaboration between four French luxury houses, each bottle is destined for a different continent: one will be auctioned in North America (on September 10), one in Asia (in Hong Kong on October 1), and one in Europe (in London on November 16), a nod to the three continents where Louis XIII was originally shipped after its creation. Over 50 individual artisans worked on the project: Each offering is unique and comprises a trunk, hand-stitched in the Hermès Atelier, a white-gold pipette, hand-forged by Puiforcat, and four glasses and a magnum decanter decorated with a 19th-century map of the continent it’s headed for, engraved by a crystal master at Saint Louis.
While the packaging is certainly exceptional, the ultimate treasure is what’s inside: After being aged in the oblong oak barrels known as tierçon, three of the house’s oldest eaux-de-vie, dating to the 19th century and reserved in glass dame-jeanne, were added to the mix to create L’Odyssée d’un Roi, a rare, one-of-a-kind blend. Created especially for this project, it’s the smallest quantity of an expression Louis XIII has ever produced.
Prospective buyers can register to bid through Sotheby’s website, then attend the auction in person or bid online. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of the trunks will go to the Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Martin Scorsese that’s dedicated to preserving classic cinema. Since their creation in 1990, the organization has helped to restore nearly 700 classic films and distribute them to the public through educational programs and events. The trunks are expected to raise more than $250,000 each, helping to preserve our collective cinema history for the future—a cultural effort that, like a bottle of Louis XIII, will be valued for generations to come.
The auction at Sotheby’s New York takes place September 10, 2016 at 12 p.m. Register to place a bid at sothebys.com.