Like many of the great inventions of man, Champagne - as it is known today - was supposedly first created by accident; legend has it that in 1693, French monk, Dom Pérignon, was unable to remove the bubbles from his wine and thus produced the first sparkling Champagne. Despite the story, further investigation into history has suggested English scientist, Christopher Merret, to be the more likely inventor. Regardless of its uncertain origins, Champagne has become one of the most coveted and exclusive forms of alcohol, having a long association with royalty, aristocracy and the wealthy. As a result, there are strict rules and regulations surrounding the production of the bubbly drink, with one of the most important being that the grapes must be grown in the region of Champagne in the northeast of France. Today, Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Piper-Heidsieck and Lanson are just a few of the houses which dominate the Champagne market.
Silver, an ancient precious metal, is as diverse as it is beautiful. Mined from different corners of the globe, it is used in film photography, solar power cells and insulation materials. Silver is also used to make coins, jewelry, tableware and décor. Since it has been around for so long, many silver objects carry with them a rich historical background. Barnebys has taken a look at the different silver pieces that are currently available for auction and present to you just a small selection of the many, remarkable items.