There are few spirits as well-traveled or as historically well-regarded as LOUIS XIII Cognac from the House of Rémy Martin. Wherever there is luxury, from the palatial halls of European monarchs to extravagant bar cars on the Orient Express, and the hedonistic first-class lounges of ocean liners and jets, there is LOUIS XIII. To commemorate the brand’s global journey, which began in France’s Grande Champagne region over a century ago, LOUIS XIII has launched a year-long traveling exhibition titled L’Odyssée d’un Roi. In keeping with the theme of travel the exhibition arrived in New York following a tour through Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong and will continue its journey to Singapore, Paris and London, all cities that are connected to particularly proud moments in LOUIS XIII’s history.
Additionally, three other storied maisons –Hermès, Puiforcat and Saint-Louis — have contributed to the handcrafted, one-of-a kind masterpieces, the making of which ultimately involved over 50 artisans and over 1,000 hours of labor. Each piece was inspired by the first shipments of LOUIS XIII in the 1870s and is enriched by a unique and exclusive blend of LOUIS XIII Cognac.
The bespoke trunk from Hermès is perhaps the most literal representation of a voyage as it is crafted with strong allusions to traditional steamer trunks. Puiforcat, for its part, takes Art Deco inspiration to heart with a hand-forged white gold pipette that pays homage to the cellar master’s ritual of extracting eaux-de-vie from the ageing casks. Lastly, Saint-Louis offers distinctly hand-etched and hand-blown crystal decanters, each with a set of four glasses, engraved with a 19th century map of the continent where it is bound; the set indeed rivals even the finest tableware of bygone eras.
Last Thursday, May 19, the New York exhibition opened with a celebrity-attended VIP event featuring a toast led by LOUIS XIII Cellar Master Baptiste Loiseau. Attendees were able to see the one of a kind bespoke pieces in-person for the first time. The museum-style layout also gave guests the opportunity to learn about the crafting process via interactive video displays, immersive photo booths and large-scale installations.
Sotheby’s will auction each of the three bespoke pieces in their corresponding continent; Americas in New York (September 10), Asia in Hong Kong (October 1), and Europe in London (November 16) with proceeds going to benefit the Martin Scorsese-founded non-profit, The Film Foundation. Established in 1990, the foundation strives to restore and protect classic films so they will always be available to new generations. As a luxury house rooted in heritage, craftsmanship and legacy, LOUIS XIII felt an inherent connection between the mission of preserving classic cinema for future generations and the process and time required in creating LOUIS XIII.
- Photography: Kelly Taub