A tantalising mystery surrounds a bottle of wine about to be auctioned after lying lost in the wreck of a Liverpool liner for 121 years.
If the bottle’s provenance as one of the celebrated 1870s Chateau Latour wines is proven, it would have a value of about £15,000.
But if not, it is likely to be sold for a more sober £250, at the sale next Wednesday.
The bottle is one of 12 salvaged from the wreck of the Liverpool & Great Western Steam Navigation’s SS Dakota.
The Victorian liner set sail from Liverpool for New York on a fine evening on May 9, 1877.
While sailing two miles off Anglesey at 9.30pm, an officer’s order to change direction was misunderstood by Dakota’s helmsman. Instead of turning right and steaming further out to sea, the helmsman turned left.
Realising the blunder, the ship was put full astern, but hit East Mouse rocks, near Amlwch.
All 218 passengers and 109 crew safely reached shore, but the ship, filled with 1,800 tons of cargo, broke in two and was a total loss.
The wreck lay on the seabed undisturbed for 121 years, until the 12 bottles of wine were salvaged in 1998.