nb_cid nb_clickOther -tt-nb this.style.behavior='url(#default#homepage)';this.setHomePage('http://www.aol.com/?mtmhp=acm50ieupgradebanner_112313 network-banner-empty upgradeBanner
14
Search AOL Mail
AOL Mail
Video
Video
AOL Favorites
Favorites
Menu

Chinese cup auctioned for record-breaking $36M


HONG KONG (AP) - A Shanghai collector bought a rare Ming Dynasty cup that's touted as the "holy grail" of China's art world for $36 million at a Hong Kong auction on Tuesday, smashing the previous world record price for Chinese porcelain.

Sotheby's said Liu Yiqian was the winning bidder for the small white cup, which measures just 8 centimeters (3.1 Inches) in diameter and is more than 500 years old. The vessel is known as a "chicken cup" because it's decorated with a rooster and hen tending to their chicks.

It was made during the reign of the Ming Dynasty's Chenghua Emperor, who ruled from 1465 to 1487. Sotheby's said there are only 17 such cups in existence, with four in private hands and the rest in museums.

"There's no more legendary object in the history of Chinese porcelain," said Nicholas Chow, Sotheby's deputy chairman for Asia. "This is really the holy grail when it comes to Chinese art."

For such a prized item, bidding was limited to a handful of wealthy collectors and when the winning bid was hammered down at HK$250 million ($32.2 million), the standing-room only crowd broke into applause. The auction house's commission brought the total to HK$281.2 million ($36.1 million). A pre-sale estimate had estimated a maximum sale price of HK$300 million.

Sotheby's said the previous record for Chinese porcelain was set in 2010 when a gourd-shaped Qianlong vase sold for $32.4 million.

It's the latest of several records set at the auction house's Hong Kong spring sales, indicating that the region's super-rich are still spending despite fluctuating economic growth. At Sunday's sale of modern and contemporary Asian art, Asian collectors bought nine of the top 10 priciest lots.

"Definitely the mood in Hong Kong at this moment, in Asia, is buoyant," said Chow.

Chow said the cup would likely go on display in Liu's Long Museum in Shanghai, which he and his wife, Wang Wei, opened in 2012.

Liu is a middle-school dropout who drove a cab before becoming a multimillionaire. Forbes estimates his fortune at $900 million, making him the 200th richest person in China.

Join the discussion

1000|Characters 1000  Characters
micxaeli April 08 2014 at 4:26 PM

Here, catch!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
gator0614 April 08 2014 at 1:02 PM

His cup runnist over

Flag Reply +1 rate up
theholly April 08 2014 at 12:49 PM

Wow! I have an original Howdey Doody glass from the 1955 era.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Lisa April 08 2014 at 10:28 PM

CHICKENS RULE!!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
JUSTBARNES3 April 08 2014 at 8:00 PM

IT WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE ONE OF THOSE CUP LYING AROUND!!!





















O






IT WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE

Flag Reply +1 rate up
dwtomczyk April 08 2014 at 11:53 AM

i would not have paid a penny more than 35,999,999.98

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
estela92 dwtomczyk April 08 2014 at 12:41 PM

LOL

Flag Reply +2 rate up
ectullis April 08 2014 at 8:10 PM

Made in China

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Walt April 08 2014 at 11:33 AM

I SAW A LARGE PART OF THE MING PRIVATE COLLECTION MANY YEARS AGO IN THE COKE TOWER, WHEN MR. WOODRUFF WAS ALIVE (CEO) OF COKE, WHEN THEY BUILT THE COKE TOWER IN ATLANTA. IT WAS QUITE IMPRESSIVE, THIS WAS EARLY TO MID 70'S.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
Sparky5229 April 08 2014 at 6:23 PM

Ihave five bucks

Flag Reply +1 rate up
bonitoking61 April 08 2014 at 10:59 AM

For 36 million the person holding that cup should have had white gloves on.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
aol~~ 1209600

Voting...

1414067533288

World Series

More From Our Partners