March 18, 2016 – That little metal cap held down by wire over a Champagne cork could be quite valuable but only if it once graced an upscale and possibly limited release of Champagne.
The cap has been in use since its invention in 1844 and over the years it has been hand painted, silver plated and even gold plated. Some bore a coat-of-arms, or perhaps a commemoration of an historic event, a portrait of a family member or even a pet. The most valuable ones come from bottles produced by very small wineries, which sometimes change the caps every year or release limited editions with an eye on reaching the collector’s market.
Every two years there is a one-day fair in the village of Mesnil-sur-Oger where 5,000 collectors showed up at the last one. Prices can range from about .55 cents to over $1,000 each. Clearly one needs to upscale and increase the consumption of Champagne in order to compete, but what a delicious hobby!