Meiyintang 'Chicken Cup' from Ming Dynasty era sells at auction for $36 million

The piece of Chinese porcelain sold at a Sotheby’s sale in Hong Kong on Tuesday.
By Evan Bleier Follow @itishowitis Contact the Author   |   April 8, 2014 at 2:40 PM

HONG KONG, April 8 (UPI) -- A rare piece of Chinese porcelain from the Ming Dynasty which is more than 500 years old sold for $36 million at a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong on Tuesday to Shanghai-based collector Liu Yiqian.

The price of the Meiyintang "Chicken Cup," which is decorated with a rooster, hen and chicks, set a new world record for the most expensive piece of Chinese porcelain to ever be sold at auction.

“Why do you all care so much about the price?” Liu told the Wall Street Journal. “I bought it only because I like it.”

The previous record for Chinese porcelain was set when a Qianlong vase sold for $32.4 million in 2010.

The record-breaking cup measures only 3.1 inches in diameter.

“This is the holy grail of ceramics,” James Hennessy, a Hong Kong-based dealer, told Bloomberg News. “People, emperors and collectors have always aspired to own one of these, and the opportunity doesn’t come along often.”

[Wall Street Journal] [Bloomberg News]

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