Rare 'chicken cup' may rake in $48m
A CHINESE wine cup from the Ming era could fetch US$38 million (S$48 million) when it goes under the hammer here this week, auctioneers said on Saturday.
The porcelain cup, painted with a rooster and a hen tending to their chicks, was made between 1465 and 1487. Only 19 such cups are known to exist, with four in private collections, said deputy chairman for Sotheby's Asia, Mr Nicolas Chow.
If the cup does fetch the expected price tomorrow, it would break the world record for the sale of any Chinese works of art or porcelain. Currently, the record is held by a gourd-shaped vase from the Qianlong period, which sold for HK$252.7 million (S$41 million) in 2010.
The cup represents the pinnacle of Ming porcelain production, according to Sotheby's. Mr Chow noted that emperors of later dynasties were so enamoured of the design that it was copied extensively.
"When you buy a chicken cup... you're buying centuries of imperial admiration for these objects," he said.