Learn about Wines in Tokyo

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Record $36million Paid for Wine Cup!



Forget diamond-studded wine goblets that cost $4000 –
how about a $36million wine glass?

If you thought Riedel charged a lot for their wine glasses, you ain't seen nothing yet.

A 500-year-old Chinese wine cup – that we can only hope is dishwasher-safe – sold for $36.4 million at auction in Hong Kong.

The "chicken cup" – so-called because it is adorned with delicate paintings of hens, cocks and chicks – is one of the most sought-after items in Chinese art.

It was part of a collection of Chinese ceramics owned by Swiss pharmaceutical magnates the Zuellig brothers and is one of only 17 known chicken cups from the period known to exist. It was bought by Shanghai-based billionaire Liu Yiqian and will become the only chicken cup to actually reside in China.

Nicholas Chow, Sotheby's deputy chairman for Asia 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."
The cup was made during the reign of the Ming Dynasty's Chenghua Emperor, who ruled from 1465 to 1487.

The cups were used to serve wine, which became a major part of Chinese life some 500 years ago.

While archaeological evidence exists to show that the Chinese were drinking grape wine 4600 years ago, consumption was overtaken by other alcoholic beverages made from fruit and grain.
It came back into vogue – or at least into the written records – during the Han Dynasty, which ruled for some 400 years from around 200 BC, but its popularity really exploded during the Ming Dynasty.

Urbanization gathered pace during the period and demand for wine grew steadily, meaning winemaking ceased to be an agricultural byproduct and became an independent industry, with thousands of wineries springing up across the country.

According to Zhengpeng Li's book "Chinese Wine": "It is recorded that in Hengyang of Hunan Province alone there were as many as 10,000 small workshops making wine."

It certainly makes the current wine landscape look pretty empty.

Source: http://www.wine-searcher.com/