Billionaire Luxury

Collections Living

Ming Dynasty Piece Becomes Most Expensive Porcelain Cup

Porcelain is a classic collectible material, from porcelain dolls to porcelain statuettes. Chinese porcelain ceramics are among the most popular varieties, with Ming Dynasty era pieces the most exclusive and priceless.

If it isn’t in a museum, chances are it’ll cost you a lot of money. For this reason, Ming Dynasty collectors tend to be extremely wealthy, such as British billionaire James Stunt or one of the richest men in China, Liu Yiqian.

In fact, Yiqian became the proud owner of one of the most expensive cups ever sold in auction this year. The rare Ming Dynasty “chicken cup” sold for an impressive $30 million in Hong Kong.


Here are the facts:

- It’s 500 years old.

- It is 3.1 inches in diameter.

- It is estimated that there are only 17 Ming cups like this in the world.

- Only four are privately owned. The rest call museums home.


According to the deputy chairman for Sotheby’s Asia, Nicholas Chow, the cups are among the most prized auctioned pieces. “Every time a chicken cup comes up on the market, it totally redefines prices in the field of Chinese art,” Chow told the Daily Mail.

Everyone applauded when the hammer sealed the final offer. It was an exciting moment for Yiqian and art collectors as a whole. Yiqian is not alone. Influential collectors worldwide are intrigued by Ming Dynasty-era art. Owning pieces is so much more than owning a craft; they’re artifacts, pieces of history.

Unsurprisingly, only the most serious collectors filled the room that day. Regarding the importance of the cup, Chow simply said: “There’s no more legendary object in the history of Chinese porcelain… This is really the holy grail when it comes to Chinese art.”