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1835 letter from New York to Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin (Champagne) France

$50.00 CAD

– Sold Out

Dated 15th August 1835, in English from Bunker & Co.

Written while Veuve Cliquot was running the company!

Letter complaining of champagne product spillage during shipping:

"..we have had several complaints respecting the leaking of your wines..."
"…owing perhaps to your bottles being uncommonly full …"
"...We must beg you to be very particular in having the bottles securely stopped …"
"...We find that our neighbours are beginning to find out the inconvenience of lead caps, and have ordered them to be suspended. Consequently we must fall in with your views on the subject and be contented with tin foil tops in future..."


Fascinating insight on the champagne industry in the early 19th century.

Two-page letter. Postmarked passage via Le Havre and arrival at Reims 23 Sep 1835


In 1772, Philippe Clicquot-Muiron established the original enterprise which eventually became the house of Veuve Clicquot. In 1775, it was credited to be the first Champagne house to produce rosé Champagne, using the method of adding red wine during production.

Philippe's son, François Clicquot, married Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin in 1798 and died in 1805, leaving his widow (veuve in French) in control of a company variously involved in banking, wool trading, and Champagne production. She became the first woman to take over a Champagne house. Under Madame Clicquot's guidance, the firm focused entirely on the last, to great success.

During the Napoleonic Wars, Madame Clicquot made strides in establishing her wine in royal courts throughout Europe, notably that of Imperial Russia, thus becoming the first Champagne house to ship Champagne through the blockade to Russia in 1811. During this time, she also gave Champagne to the Prussian guards enforcing the blockade and the soldiers opened the champagne with their swords, so started the technique of sabring Champagne. By the time she died in 1866 Veuve Clicquot had become both a substantial Champagne house and a respected brand.