One of a Kind

Looking for a gift to bring the past alive in the present? Try the Magna Carta

The department-store answer to What to give the person who has everything? typically comes down to dollars: Saks Fifth Avenue offers a $215,000 bottle of perfume; British retailer Fortnum & Mason has a $41,000 Christmas basket--including caviar, champagne and foie gras--that is delivered by horse and carriage; and Neiman Marcus, ever determined to be the most ridiculous, is touting a $1.4 million Triton 1000 submarine with leather seats.

But anyone with a taste for history--or taste at all--might do better trolling the auction houses this month, where once-in-a-lifetime shopping opportunities abound. In the first liquor auction since Prohibition at Christie's in Manhattan,...

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