Fine French Wines, Going Once…

Have you ever wondered what $300,000 worth of French wine might look like? And no, it doesn’t resemble all the containers piled on the docks at Marseille, or even a single bottle of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti. If you’re excited by this prospect, you’d better grab ye olde checkbook and head to Lewis & Maese Antiques and Auctions next Wednesday Nov. 7. Be prepared to run the table. 

And speaking of tables, also being auctioned is a table used by the late U.S. Secretary of Commerce Bob Mosbacher to entertain former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former British Prime Minister John Major, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Perez, former President of Mexico Carlos Salinas, former Vice President Dan Quayle, former Secretary of State James Baker and former Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar, all in a single night at his River Oaks home. The 2004 occasion was the 80th birthday of his former boss, President George H.W. Bush. 

The wines and items from that home are being offered at the request of Mosbacher’s widow Mica. A preview party and wine-tasting is scheduled this Thursday from 5-8 p.m.  Potential bidders can view the lots online at www.lmauctionco.com or www.liveauctioneers.com.  The auction and the preview party are open to the public. General auction house preview times are Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 5 and 6 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and auction day from 2 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. 

“Bob had collected wine for years and had an affinity for French Burgundy and Bordeaux,” explains Mica Mosbacher. “When we dated, he wined and dined me and always brought a bottle of his favorite wine for us for dinner. He loved to cook, and we ate pasta and spaghetti with La Tache (one of my favorites). Later we named one of our King Charles Spaniels La Tache.   At our wedding he served Petrus… We served a rare Petrus to the King and Queen of Spain at a private dinner.  Secretary Baker says that wines give him a headache except for good wine, so whenever he or Susan came to dinner we broke out a good wine.” 

Proceeds from the wine collection and the table and chairs will be donated to the Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics and Public Policy, Bush School of Government and Public Service, George H.W. Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University in College Station.  

Auction items include the $300,000 fine wine collection and works by artists Raoul Dufy, Pablo Picasso, Paul Signac, Alexander Calder, Henri Matisse and William Wissing.  Also featured are Minton and Wedgwood china, Lalique, Baccarat, Waterford crystal and sterling silver serving pieces.  Other important items include four Greco-Roman stone sculptures dating back approximately 2,000 years. Each sculpture will be auctioned in individual lots.

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