Sotheby’s Hong Kong is going to auction a single porcelain cup that has a chicken painted on it (Chicken Cup), for an estimated $38.7mm on April 8th. Chicken Cup is only one of 19 known to exist, sort of, because Sotheby’s says Chicken Cup was copied extensively…so,I’m taking them at their word that this is Chicken Cup and not just a chicken cup.
Four of the 19 Chicken Cups are in private collections, and presumably are not one of the thousands of replica chicken cups.
Chicken Cup was created between 1465 to 1487 during the reign of the Chenghua Emperor.
Quoth Sotheby’s, “When you buy a Chicken Cup… You don’t just buy the object, you’re buying centuries of imperial admiration for these objects,” because the value of Chicken Cup is partly based on how many people just seriously like Chicken Cup. They are willing to pay primo dinero for Chicken Cup.
Chicken cup is the best cup, though Flower Bowl did sell for $26.8mm in 2012 making it second best vessel in the land.
Sotheby’s Hong Kong is estimated to rake in more than $322mm in Spring Sales.
UPDATED: Chicken Cup sold for $36mm and the auction room applauded. Well done, world. Well done.