Britains biggest ever bottle of English sparkling wine, produced by award winning, Kent-based winery Chapel Down, has been signed by four leading contemporary British artists and will be sold at Christies Out of the Ordinary auction on 3 September 2014 to raise funds for Turner Contemporary
s Catalyst Endowment campaign.
The unique bottle, produced to celebrate Turner Contemporarys one millionth visitor in August 2013, is an expertly made 15-litre Nebuchadnezzar of Chapel Downs trophy-winning Blanc de Blancs 2007 sparkling wine.
Weighing 26kg, it is the equivalent of 10 magnums, or 120 glasses, and contains around 60 million bubbles one for every person in the UK.
The bottle has been signed by four leading British artists, including Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Antony Gormley and Edmund de Waal.
Each artist has accompanied their signature by a sketch which pays tribute to their career and practice, including a shark by Damien Hirst, a self-portrait by Tracey Emin, an outline of a male figure by Antony Gormley, and a list of previous installations by Edmund de Waal.
The signed Nebuchadnezzar forms part of Christies second annual Out of the Ordinary sale, a tightly curated sale offering a unique opportunity to acquire something a little different from Christies South Kensington. Each lot has been selected as either visually striking or with an intriguing story to tell, many of which have never before been seen at auction.
From 5 August 2014, the Nebuchadnezzar will go on display at Christies South Kensington with an estimated price of £10,000-£15,000. All proceeds raised from the sale will significantly contribute towards Turner Contemporarys Catalyst Endowment Fund, which must reach a £1 million target by March 2015.
As part of a scheme to make arts organisations more sustainable, every £1 raised will be matched by £1 funding from the Catalyst Endowment Fund, which is supported by Arts Council England and DCMS. These funds will mean that Turner Contemporary can continue to make world-class art accessible to everyone, growing the learning and outreach programmes and making an even greater impact on Margate and Kents future.
Chapel Down CEO, Frazer Thompson says: We are very proud to have our award winning wine associated with some of the countrys finest contemporary artists. We love trying to do things differently, to surprise and delight our customers, and this [bottle] is a great example of that. Turner Contemporary has done a terrific job in helping to regenerate Kent. We like to feel that our rolling vineyards are doing the same and, perhaps, helping to inspire a new generation of artists.
Turner Contemporary Director, Victoria Pomery says: It is incredibly generous that Kent-based winery, Chapel Down, produced this unique bottle of wine for Turner Contemporary last year and we are extremely grateful to all of the artists who have signed it. We have little under a year to raise the remaining funds for our Catalyst Endowment Fund. All proceeds raised from the auction at Christies will be match funded through the Endowment and will significantly support our activities.