“Sun Flower” Moutai at Sotheby’s Sold at  £1,000,000


“Sun Flower” Moutai holds a unique place not just in Moutai distillery’s history, but also in that of China’s. The “Sun Flower” replaced “Flying Fairy” for the export branding during the cultural revolution. The “Flying Fairy” logo, originating from the Maogao cave drawings in Dunhuang, was categorized as one of the “four olds” and thus, deemed inappropriate to be continued to be featured on Moutai bottles.


From 2-18 June 2021, premium auction house Sotheby’s offered its most expensive Moutai lot to date - the “Sun Flower" Moutai for bid. Sun Flower" Moutai was first introduced in 1969, with the last batch coming out into the market around 1983. According to official records, 1974’s production for the export market is only 36.2 tons, compared with its total production of 664.5 tons, which makes it highly sought after.


The lot includes 24 bottles of 1974 "Sun Flower" Kweichow Moutai housed within an original wooden case. The case was sealed shut with the original nails from when it was first shipped. The shipping crate is stenciled with Kweichow Moutai's branding and inside contains 24 individual compartments within which each of the 24 bottles are housed, Italian tax strip labels over capsules, general wear to bottles.


Leading the sale with 24 bottles of Chinese baijiu producer Kweichow Moutai’s Sunflower 1974. It is the priciest Moutai collection that Sotheby’s has offered to date, and also the first Moutai lot that Sotheby’s has auctioned in the UK.


In terms of premium whisky, The Macallan’s 78 Year Old from The Red Collection, claiming to be the oldest age statement whisky ever released by the maker, have an estimated price of £60,000-90,000 (US$85,000-127,600). Whereas, Kweichow Moutai’s Sunflower 1974 with an estimated value of £200,000-450,000 (US$283,600-638,000).


The rarity of these special bottles are especially appreciated by collectors and highly coveted. The final price of the Kweichow Moutai’s Sunflower 1974 ended with more than double of its estimated value, with final price of  £1,000,000.


Source Reference: https://www.sothebys.com/en/buy/auction/2021/rare-whisky-moutai-extraordinary-spirits-from-asia-scotland-2/sun-flower-kweichow-moutai-in-original-wooden