A 500-year-old extremely rare Chinese ‘chicken cup’ belonging to the Ming Dynasty is set to fetch a record-breaking 38.6 million at an auction.
The ‘chicken cup’, one of the just four left in the world, is expected to set a new record for Chinese porcelain at auction, with estimates of between USD 25.7–38.6 million.
The cup produced during the Chenghua reign (1465-87), will feature in Sotheby’s spring sale in Hong Kong next month, a news agency reported.
The Chenghua ‘chicken cups’ were produced in small numbers and now there are just four left in the hands of private owners around the world.
Only a handful of museums worldwide have the cups in their collection including the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum.
“Ever since the Ming Dynasty when they were produced, Chenghua period ‘chicken cups’ have been praised and treasured by emperors and connoisseurs alike,” said Nicolas Chow, international head of Sotheby’s Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art.
“Given their extreme rarity, they are by definition the crowning glory of any collection of Chinese porcelain,” Chow said.
The creation of ‘chicken cups’ reached its peak during the Chenghua period, and they were celebrated for their tactile material, elegance of colour arrangement and distinctive painting style, the report said.