Ming “Chicken Cup”

A rare Ming-era wine cup has broken the world auction record for any Chinese porcelain.

The “Chicken Cup” sold for $38.5 million to the Shanghai billionaire investor, Liu Yiqian, at an auction in Hong Kong.

The tiny white porcelain cup, decorated with a colour painting of a rooster and a hen tending to their chicks, was made during the reign of the Chenghua Emperor between 1465 and 1487.

It joins Liu Yiqian’s large collection, estimated to have a value of more than $1.5 billion. Highlights of the collection include two Song Dynasty (960-1279) pieces and another five from the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).

Sotheby’s said that the price sets a new record for Chinese porcelain, beating the previous record held by a gourd-shaped vase from the Qianlong period, which sold for $US32.58 million in 2010.

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