Navy spirit lives on through will

08 February, 2008

Rare Royal Navy rum worth some £8,000 will be sold by auction next week.

Ten 50-year-old gallon jars , each with a government wax seal, will go under the hammer at Charterhouse Auctioneers in Sherborne, Dorset on Feb 15.

The rum is valued at £500-800 for each jar, but could fetch more than £1,000 a gallon. It forms part of a specialist section of 600 lots of wine, port and spirits set for auction on the day.

The British Royal Navy issued its sailors with a daily ration of rum until 1970, according to Charterhouse's wine consultant and valuer, David Baines.

"The contents will be exactly as per the Navy Rum Ration and they are very rare. Last time any came up for auction they made in excess of £1,000 each," Baines said.

The rum will have retained its original strength of around 110 proof because it has been stored in wicker-covered stoneware with wax seals, Baines added. The jars were left in the will of a sailor who ended his service in the British Royal Navy in the 1960s. "He left his daughter her inheritance in spirits . It's such a one-off," said Baines.

Twelve bottles of Château Gruaud Larose 1982, also to be auctioned on Feb 15, are expected to fetch £1,200 -£1,500 a bottle. For more information, contact David Baines on 07974 810190.

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