Mysterious-100-year-old-brandy-bequest-fetches-over-£500-at-auction

Byline: A mysterious 100-year-old bottle of brandy which was left in a Will to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and World Wildlife Fund UK (WWF UK) 34 years ago has sold for £520 at auction, with the proceeds to be split in half between the two charities.
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A generous bequest made by Mrs Mary Sennett who died in 1980, the historic bottle of F.Latour & Co Vieille Reserve Cognac arrived at RNLI headquarters in 1990 to be locked away in a sealed box for 24 years. The terms of the gift stipulated that in 2014, the bottle be sold at auction and the funds shared equally between the RNLI and the World Wildlife Fund UK.

After the sealed box was finally opened earlier this year, the brandy was finally sold today at Charterhouse Auctioneers in Sherborne, Dorset raising £520, or £260 for each charity respectively.

Richard Bromell, Director of Charterhouse Auctioneers said: ‘The bottle is in fantastic condition given its age, with an excellent level and perfect seal.
 
‘The bottle also comes shrouded in mystery. Very little is known about Mrs Sennett, and even less is known about the origin and history behind the bottle. It’s also a wonderful item of memorabilia from the Great War period.
 
‘I was expecting the bottle to reach at least £500 and I am really pleased that the result means a significant donation to the RNLI.
 
‘There was bidding in the room but the hammer fell down to a London buyer on the telephone. It is a great result for a great cause.’

The amount raised for the RNLI through the brandy bottle is enough to buy a thermal undersuit (£200), a pair of boots (£42) and gloves (£10) for a volunteer all-weather lifeboat crew member.

A befitting gift, brandy has a long history with the RNLI as it was the standard practice since the very early days of the service until the late 1980’s to issue lifeboats with spirits as an aid to help revive or sustain people. Coxswains were given strict instructions to ‘keep an eye’ on the issued bottle!

In the 1881 publication Treatment for Restoring the Apparently Drowned, the RNLI instructed:
‘On the restoration of life, a teaspoonful of warm water should be given; and then, if the power of swallowing be returned, small quantities of wine, warm brandy and water, or coffee should be administered.’ 

Guy Rose, Legacy Administration Manager at the RNLI says: ‘The funds from generous bequests such as these help the RNLI continue its lifesaving work.’

Six out of 10 lifeboat launches are only made possible through gifts in Wills. After taking care of loved ones, any gift left to the RNLI is vital to the future of the charity’s lifesaving service. Just £59 pays for a pair of waterproof binoculars to help volunteer crews identify casualties in rough seas, £85 pays for a wetsuit so that a lifeguard may reach a swimmer in trouble and £330 pays for a new lifejacket to keep an inshore lifeboat crew member safe at sea.

Notes to editors
Images are available to view and download from the RNLI News Centre via this link: 
http://rnli.org/NewsCentre/Pages/Mysterious-100-year-old-brandy-legacy-to-fetch-up-to-%C2%A31000-at-auction.aspx  

RNLI media contacts
Luke Blissett, PR Officer (Campaigns) on luke_blissett@rnli.org.uk, 01202 336064. Or contact pressoffice@rnli.org.uk, 01202 336789.

Byline: A mysterious 100-year-old bottle of brandy which was left in a Will to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and World Wildlife Fund UK (WWF UK) 34 years ago has sold for £520 at auction, with the proceeds to be split in half between the two charities.
Page Content:

A generous bequest made by Mrs Mary Sennett who died in 1980, the historic bottle of F.Latour & Co Vieille Reserve Cognac arrived at RNLI headquarters in 1990 to be locked away in a sealed box for 24 years. The terms of the gift stipulated that in 2014, the bottle be sold at auction and the funds shared equally between the RNLI and the World Wildlife Fund UK.

After the sealed box was finally opened earlier this year, the brandy was finally sold today at Charterhouse Auctioneers in Sherborne, Dorset raising £520, or £260 for each charity respectively.

Richard Bromell, Director of Charterhouse Auctioneers said: ‘The bottle is in fantastic condition given its age, with an excellent level and perfect seal.
 
‘The bottle also comes shrouded in mystery. Very little is known about Mrs Sennett, and even less is known about the origin and history behind the bottle. It’s also a wonderful item of memorabilia from the Great War period.
 
‘I was expecting the bottle to reach at least £500 and I am really pleased that the result means a significant donation to the RNLI.
 
‘There was bidding in the room but the hammer fell down to a London buyer on the telephone. It is a great result for a great cause.’

The amount raised for the RNLI through the brandy bottle is enough to buy a thermal undersuit (£200), a pair of boots (£42) and gloves (£10) for a volunteer all-weather lifeboat crew member.

A befitting gift, brandy has a long history with the RNLI as it was the standard practice since the very early days of the service until the late 1980’s to issue lifeboats with spirits as an aid to help revive or sustain people. Coxswains were given strict instructions to ‘keep an eye’ on the issued bottle!

In the 1881 publication Treatment for Restoring the Apparently Drowned, the RNLI instructed:
‘On the restoration of life, a teaspoonful of warm water should be given; and then, if the power of swallowing be returned, small quantities of wine, warm brandy and water, or coffee should be administered.’ 

Guy Rose, Legacy Administration Manager at the RNLI says: ‘The funds from generous bequests such as these help the RNLI continue its lifesaving work.’

Six out of 10 lifeboat launches are only made possible through gifts in Wills. After taking care of loved ones, any gift left to the RNLI is vital to the future of the charity’s lifesaving service. Just £59 pays for a pair of waterproof binoculars to help volunteer crews identify casualties in rough seas, £85 pays for a wetsuit so that a lifeguard may reach a swimmer in trouble and £330 pays for a new lifejacket to keep an inshore lifeboat crew member safe at sea.


Notes to editors
Images are available to view and download from the RNLI News Centre via this link: 
http://rnli.org/NewsCentre/Pages/Mysterious-100-year-old-brandy-legacy-to-fetch-up-to-%C2%A31000-at-auction.aspx  


RNLI media contacts
Luke Blissett, PR Officer (Campaigns) on luke_blissett@rnli.org.uk, 01202 336064. Or contact pressoffice@rnli.org.uk, 01202 336789.