The buyer, who represented a Swedish television company, paid over 23,000 kronor for the 70-year-old Moet et Chandon which was said to have been snatched by an allied soldier at the end of the second world war.
The bottle was sold at Charterhouse auctioneers by a 62-year-old British lawyer, who had received the bottle from the soldier in return for legal services.
“He had it given to him by a soldier who, as far as we can work out, retrieved it from the ruins of the Reich Chancellery in Berlin after the Nazis were defeated in May 1945,” Charterhouse valuer Chris Copson told AFP.
“The Russians had been there first, there was a lot of looting and the soldier and members of his unit took themselves a little souvenir of the event,” he continued.
Champagne does not age well. But according to Copson there is another reason why the Swedish buyer is unlikely to crack open the bottle to celebrate the purchase:
“There was a rumour that some of the bottles of champagne had been poisoned by injecting through the cork which might be why the soldier never actually drank it.”