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One of Europe's Oldest Restaurants Is Auctioning Off Rare Booze and Tableware

Items include cognac dating back to 1788 and a $5,000 duck press

La Tour d'Argent

Got a wad of cash burning a hole in your pocket and a serious fine-dining fetish? Get thee to Paris next week for the chance to snap up some rare Marie Antoinette-era cognac, or perhaps a duck press. Bloomberg reports that and much more will be on the auction block May 9 courtesy of one of Europe's oldest restaurants, the hallowed La Tour D'Argent, which was established in 1582.

The restaurant, which inspired the one in the Pixar film Ratatouille, is seeking to raise around half a million dollars for a much-needed facelift; it once boasted three Michelin stars, but over the past two decades has been downgraded to just one star.

The auction will include three bottles of 1788 Grande Fine Clos du Griffier cognac estimated to be worth more than $20,000 each, as well as "copper pans, tableware, furnishings and a silver-plated Christofle duck press" valued at around $5,000. (A duck press is a medieval torture device-looking implement used to extract blood and juices from whole cooked birds; even buying one new from, say, Sur la Table will run nearly $3,000.)

It's not the first time the storied restaurant has turned to offloading its booze collection to raise funds: Back in 2009, Tour D'Argent auctioned off 18,000 bottles of winethough that was just a small fraction of its impressive cellar, which currently holds around 350,000 bottles.

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