Every now and my jaw drops at the sight and sound of a news story that shares what a certain special something went for at auction.

Yesterday I found out you could be the proud owner of a tiny Chinese Chicken Cup for only HK$281.24 million/ US$36.3 million/ £21.7 million. A Shanghai man and esteemed art collector by the name of Liu Yigian bought this teeny wine cup which features a Rooster (or Cock), a hen as well as some chicks on it.

This is one item I would not want to hold on camera for the fear of being “the girl who dropped the relic cup.” It seems that porcelain objects reflecting Chinese history are an incredibly rare find.  Though a little rich for my taste I could see the appeal of the piece after reading about its past.

Representative of the Ming Dynasty and over 500 years old (circa 1465-1487 also known as the Chenghua Period) this creation is one of only 16-17 chicken cups left in the world. Unfortunately it won’t likely be finding its way to my china cabinet anytime soon.

This Chinese porcelain involves a decorative technique of coloring at this finest and intense sounding firing process. You can learn more about Doucai Chinese porcelain decoration here.

A few things to consider:

  1. Don’t minimize the value of something that can fit in the palm of your hand.
  2. It may be worthwhile to take a closer look for valuable Chinese porcelain and Chinese paintings in the future.
  3. The history of object almost always overrides the appearance of an object. Some of the most modest (or not super elaborate) things are worth the most.

Lets see what else makes it to the Sotheby’s Auction. Maybe another world record?

See the authentic Chicken Cup photo by visiting Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press

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One thought on “How much is a Chinese Chicken Cup?

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