Cockburns 1878

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ncosta
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Cockburns 1878

Post by ncosta » 11:31 Fri 13 Sep 2019

Hi People,

i saw a bottle of Cockburns Vintage from 1878 that seems to be in a very good conservation state.

What do you think that can be the price of one of this bottles?
Do you think that it is real? Not fake?

Hope you can help.

Br's,
Nuno.
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Andy Velebil
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Re: Cockburns 1878

Post by Andy Velebil » 12:56 Fri 13 Sep 2019

Where did you see it at? What’s the owner saying as the story of it?

ncosta
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Re: Cockburns 1878

Post by ncosta » 15:17 Fri 13 Sep 2019

i saw it in a Portuguese website that usually people sell Ports.

I asked him about the bottle history and price but he didn't answaer me yet.

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Re: Cockburns 1878

Post by Andy Velebil » 17:24 Fri 13 Sep 2019

ncosta wrote:
15:17 Fri 13 Sep 2019
i saw it in a Portuguese website that usually people sell Ports.

I asked him about the bottle history and price but he didn't answaer me yet.
That appears to be a somewhat recent release in the past couple decades. Having been in their old cellar some years ago, prior to being bought by Symington's and subsequent cellar being cleaned out, Cockburn's had none of this in their cellar. Unless the person could provide bonafide proof that it came from the cellars of Cockburn's, I would assume it may be fake.

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Re: Cockburns 1878

Post by ncosta » 17:37 Fri 13 Sep 2019

In some way i agree with you or it was realesed a few decades ago or it is fake because it's not normal for a 140 years old bottle being in so good shape.

I will ask for proof, he just answered me that the price is 650€.

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Re: Cockburns 1878

Post by SushiNorth » 19:28 Fri 13 Sep 2019

I did a bit of searching for images of old Cockburn, and in particular this one came up:
viewtopic.php?t=2121

While that style label seems to have been in vogue from the 20's-60's, you'll notice the older bottles there don't have it. So it was either released mid century (or a fake label was created in that style). Most capsules of that age also seem to be pretty crumbly, yet that one looks like it's in better shape. The punt of the bottle doesn't show a seam, so it's not totally modern :) JDaw's book confirms Cockburn 1878 exists.

Looks like it's recently ullaged enough to stain a modern Selo -- what's your plan for the bottle? If it's to drink, it's probably not worth it.
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Re: Cockburns 1878

Post by jdaw1 » 17:22 Sat 14 Sep 2019

I’d be astonished if it‘s genuine. If it is, it must have come recently from Cockburn’s cellars. When bought? Show me the paperwork.

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Re: Cockburns 1878

Post by winesecretary » 19:06 Sat 14 Sep 2019

Without reference to the book, review of photos in which will probably resolve this point, I think the label is slightly unlikely. The company was never called Cockburn's & Smithes Ca Lda. The company was however for a time called Cockburn Smithes Ca Lda. Even assuming an English bottling I find it hard to believe that this mistake would have been made in the 'selo' era.

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Cockburns 1878

Post by Andy Velebil » 19:09 Sat 14 Sep 2019

winesecretary wrote:Without reference to the book, review of photos in which will probably resolve this point, I think the label is slightly unlikely. The company was never called Cockburn's & Smithes Ca Lda. The company was however for a time called Cockburn Smithes Ca Lda. Even assuming an English bottling I find it hard to believe that this mistake would have been made in the 'selo' era.
I think you’ve misread the label. The label says “Cockburn’s Smithes & Ca Lda”

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Re: Cockburns 1878

Post by winesecretary » 19:27 Sat 14 Sep 2019

My apologies for interpolating an ampersand in an incorrect place. I should not draft posts from a mobile device with a small screen. My point is that there is no 'apostrophe s' to be found in "Cockburn Smithes" I have never before seen a bottle that made this error. So, I am suspicious of a bottle that bears it.

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Re: Cockburns 1878

Post by SushiNorth » 04:22 Sun 15 Sep 2019

winesecretary wrote:
19:27 Sat 14 Sep 2019
My point is that there is no 'apostrophe s' to be found in "Cockburn Smithes" I have never before seen a bottle that made this error. So, I am suspicious of a bottle that bears it.
a good spot, I don't see any either when I look around for bottles with that label design. That suggests the label wasnt made by the producer as part of a release, but more likely an owner of the bottle who wanted a nice label for it and made one themselves; and they could have put any darn date they wanted on that label.
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Re: Cockburns 1878

Post by SushiNorth » 23:08 Sun 15 Sep 2019

SushiNorth
Image Port wine should perhaps be added -- A Trollope

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Re: Cockburns 1878

Post by ncosta » 11:23 Mon 16 Sep 2019

The 'apostrophe s' it's a good point, i was serching for pics from Cockburn's Vintage and they don't have the apostrophe's, i found 1950, 1955, 1960, 1963,1967, 1970, 1985 but all of this ones are after 1950.
I kept searching and i found two curious one's one from 1912 with apostrophe and other from 1917 without apostrophe.
I'm not planning to buy it unless i have a good proof that it is real, at this time i'm just curious how a 150 years old bottle looks so good.
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Re: Cockburns 1878

Post by PhilW » 15:04 Mon 16 Sep 2019

Having checked the VPID, I can find labels which include "COCKBURN'S SMITHES ..." on at least three or four other different vintages of Cockburn ('17, '45, '57 and possibly '47). All of these labels are of the same format (the classic black surround with varying horizontal line edging, as used by many producers/bottlers in the 60s and 70s), BUT on every bottle with ""COCKBURN'S SMITHES" instead of "COCKBURN SMITHES", these all appear to be from the same source, with the slightly larger and bolder year as well; this also differs from all other labels of all styles from Cockburn, and from all other producers/bottlers using this label style, as far as I can tell. Of these four bottles, I know one of them (the '45) to have been supplied directly from the producer's cellar around five years ago, and therefore very strongly believed to be genuine.

In other respects the bottle looks potentially genuine; the bottle glass looks similar to bottles produced of that age, the capsule looks potentially genuine; label and selo (wording aside) would be consistent with a more recent release from the producers. While I was initially similarly suspicious regarding the "COCKBURN'S SMITHES", having searched and found the above, particularly in respect of the '45, then I think this bottle might be genuine; however since for that to be the case it would need to have been relatively recently released by the producers, I would expect to hear such provenance or similar from the seller - if not a prior invoice to prove it.

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Re: Cockburns 1878

Post by AHB » 18:39 Mon 16 Sep 2019

The Cockburn 1912 label was one I printed - it’s not a shipper original label at all.
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Re: Cockburns 1878

Post by winesecretary » 12:17 Sun 22 Sep 2019

@ PhilW - Thank you, I hadn't thought to look through the VPID before posting. I have now looked at the photos, and consulted The Book; I am not substantially more quiet in my mind about the 1878 as a result.

The photo of the 1917 in the Addendum to The Book bears the same error, I presume that's the same photo as on the VPID given the source.

Since the labels are so far as I can see identical on the 1878, 1917, 1945 and 1957 it is a reasonable supposition that the labels were all made and put on at the same time. I remain anxious at the possibility that so fundamental an error as spelling the firm's name wrong would be made by the house on re-releasing rare and old bottles. But, it may be as simple as 'the person in charge of the printer that day was the trainee'.

There may be a hint of an issue with the 1945 to which you refer if it is the bottle of 1945 Cockburn that is also referred to in The Book. I note that the photo of the 1945 is accompanied by a note from AHB saying 'sealed with a cork branded Martinez 1945'. Now, Harvey's bought Martinez in 1960 before they bought Cockburn, which was in 1963. It is, I would suggest, very unlikely for a 1945 Cockburn to have been bottled, in 1947, in Oporto, with a cork from Martinez.

It is, however, possible that some time in the late 1960s Harvey's amalgamated and recorked the stock they acquired from Cockburn's and Martinez, and did not differentiate between the two houses they (by then) owned but just used corks branded with the name of the first-acquired house, and put a new label on (spelt wrongly) and a selo, and eventually released it*.

That story would also fit with this 1878 bottle bearing a selo, which I understand first appeared in 1934 and became universal on Oporto bottlings from 1941.

Could we perhaps ask Cockburn's about this? I believe it should be possible, at the least, for the house to confirm whether the selo is one of theirs (and possibly even when it was applied).

* I have had the 1945 Martinez (I cannot recall whether it had a cork branded Martinez 1945, I think it disintegrated), from the label (which was in colour) released in the 1960s, which was when the owner of the bottle bought it; and the tasting note of the 1945 Cockburn in The Book does not bear a great deal of resemblance to my view of the 1945 Martinez.

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Re: RE: Re: Cockburns 1878

Post by PhilW » 15:11 Sun 22 Sep 2019


winesecretary wrote:There may be a hint of an issue with the 1945 to which you refer if it is the bottle of 1945 Cockburn that is also referred to in The Book. I note that the photo of the 1945 is accompanied by a note from AHB saying 'sealed with a cork branded Martinez 1945'.
The Ck45 I mentioned was one at a Cockburn vertical in Germany, rather than the '45 horizontal mentioned in The Book. However, it is quite possible that both bottles may have been obtained at the same time; I'm not aware of a cork discrepancy on the one opened in Germany, which I think would have been noticed. Axel may be able to comment further.

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Re: Cockburns 1878

Post by winesecretary » 16:22 Sun 22 Sep 2019

I am sorry; I was guilty of jumping to a conclusion. I look forward to Axel's comments with much interest.

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Re: RE: Re: Cockburns 1878

Post by PhilW » 22:32 Sun 22 Sep 2019

winesecretary wrote:I am sorry; I was guilty of jumping to a conclusion. I look forward to Axel's comments with much interest.
No apology needed, it was a perfectly viable possibility; and as I say I think the two bottles may well have been sourced together, though I doubt the first had the wrong cork or we'd have noticed...

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