Decanter of whisky recovered from 130-year-old shipwreck to go under the hammer

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A decanter of whisky rescued by divers from a 130-year-old shipwreck in the Firth of Clyde will be the top lot at an auction in Glasgow next month.

The SS Wallachia sank in 1895 while carrying a precious cargo of whisky and beer, which was thought to have been lost forever.

But almost 100 years later in 1977, the shipwreck was discovered by the Girvan Sub-Aqua Club.

One of the divers is now selling his find, which includes what is believed to be one of only two decanters of Wilkinson’s Famous Liqueur Whisky recovered from the wreck.

Experts anticipate the collection could sell for between £3,000 and £5,000 when it goes under the hammer on April 14 at McTear’s.

“Although individual bottles of ‘Wallachia whisky’ have been sold in the past, this is the largest and best preserved selection to go under the hammer.

“The decanter is a particularly notable find, being one of only two recovered from the ship and, as far as we know, it is the only one to ever come to auction.

“The lot includes seven bottles and half bottles of whisky from historic brands Robert Brown’s Four Crowns blend – a popular brand that received a royal warrant from Edward VII – and Charles Wilkinson, along with two bottles of McEwan’s Export beer.

“There has been a lot of interest in the collection, although I suspect most are interested in the bottles as collectors’ items rather than for drinking.

“Reports from those who have been brave enough to sample these whiskies in the past range from ‘elegant and moving’ to an ‘utter abomination’, suggesting that anyone looking to sample this particular 125-year-old amber nectar should tread carefully.”

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