May 28 (UPI) -- A 1762 vintage bottle of cognac, one of the oldest surviving cognacs in the world, sold for $146,000 at an online auction.
The Gautier cognac, one of only three surviving bottles of the spirit, was sold Thursday by Sotheby's auction house.
The auction house said the bottle is known as the "grand frere," or "big brother," as it is the largest of three surviving bottles from the collection. The bottle known as "little brother" was sold at a New York auction in 2014 and the "little sister" is on display at the Gautier Museum in the Cognac region of France.
The former owner of the bottles said they were brought to the family by a man named Alphonse, who was adopted by the former owner's great-grandparents. The family story holds that Alphonse left home to work in the Cognac region and returned with a cart full of bottles a decade later, before his death in World War I.
"The Gautier 1762 is renowned and revered across the world as a cognac that transcends the world of spirits collecting," Jonny Fowle, Sotheby's spirits specialist, said in the auction announcement.
"This bottle represents not only an example of pre-phylloxera viticulture, but also of early cask maturation from the dawn of Gautier's production and even precedes the French Revolution."