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Whisky Galore! bottle sold for £1,300 at auction

The isle of Eriskay, where the SS Politician, carrying a large cargo of whisky, sank. Picture: Contributed

The isle of Eriskay, where the SS Politician, carrying a large cargo of whisky, sank. Picture: Contributed

A bottle of whisky salvaged from the shipwreck that inspired the book and film Whisky Galore! was sold for £1,300 at auction last night.

But it went for £100 less than it was sold for seven years ago.

The bottle was part of the cargo on the SS Politician, which sank off Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides in 1941.

The Dornoch Castle Hotel in Sutherland put the bottle of Black & White up for online auction, which ended at 8pm and attracted nearly 120 bids.

The bottle fetched £1400 at auction held by Christies in 1997. It has lost its label and is thick with sediment.

It was sold again last night by Whisky-Online Auctions based in Glasgow.

“This bottle was one of many that were retrieved from the cargo that washed ashore following the wreck and subsequently hidden by locals. This bottle was found by an islander digging their garden path in 1997 and was subsequently submitted for sale to Christies in Glasgow at the time,” said the auctioneers.

“The bottle is missing all its labels and has a spring cap seal. The wax seal was added by Christies after the sale once it was noted that the level had begun to decrease. Level in the bottle is currently at the mid shoulder.

“A remarkable piece of Scottish history with great provenance and a powerful story behind it. This is what whisky collecting is all about.”

Last year two bottles from the wreck sold for £12,050 after an online auction.

They were among eight bottles recovered from the wreck in 1987 by Donald MacPhee, from South Uist.

The whisky is not thought to be fit for human consumption.

The SS Politician was headed for Jamaica with 28,000 cases of whisky when it ran aground on the northern side of Eriskay in bad weather.

Islanders recovered hundreds of cases of whisky from the wreck and some of the bottles were buried to keep them hidden from customs officers.

Other bottles have since been found washed up on the island’s shores and also recovered by divers.

Scottish author Compton Mackenzie, published the novel Whisky Galore in 1947, which was loosely based on the SS Politician wreck.

It was adapted for the cinema in a 1949 Ealing comedy starring Basil Radford.

 

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