Winning Bids: June 2014

  •  Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding & Co.
    This 1968 Porsche 907 Longtail was the first of its marque to win a 24-hour endurance race and is perhaps the most successful 907 ever built. Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding & Co.
  • Darin Schnabel/RM Auctions
    A 1937 Delahaye 135 Competition Court Torpedo Roadster smashed the auction record for a Delahaye by more than $3 million. Darin Schnabel/RM Auctions
  • Tack's Bowers
    The 1936 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Carlos Saavedra Lamas also exceeded expectations, demonstrating a burgeoning interest in numismatics. Tack's Bowers
  • Sotheby’s
    The Rothschild Prayerbook contains premier examples of Flemish miniatures. Sotheby’s
  •  Sotheby’s
    The rooster, hen, and chicks painted on the chicken cup are believed to represent the emperor and his family; the underside bears a blue reign mark. Sotheby’s
  • Photo credit supppied.
    A collection of Buffalo Bill memorabilia, passed down through generations of his family, included a photograph of the man himself and a set of silver spurs. Photo credit supppied.
  • Bret Lopez
    An exclusive release from Scarecrow set a new benchmark for Napa Valley Cabernets. Bret Lopez
  •  Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding & Co.
  • Darin Schnabel/RM Auctions
  • Tack's Bowers
  • Sotheby’s
  •  Sotheby’s
  • Photo credit supppied.
  • Bret Lopez
<< Back to Collection, June 2014

    $36.3 Million Meiyintang Chenghua "Chicken Cup"

    Though the Meiyintang Chenghua “Chicken Cup” looks as modest as a grandmother’s teacup, the simple ceramic vessel—dating to the reign of Chinese emperor Chenghua from 1464 to 1487—carried enormous expectations leading into the Hong Kong Sotheby’s Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art sale in early April. In 1999, the same cup broke a world record for a Chinese work of art, and it did not disappoint at the April event, selling for $36.3 million and setting a new world record. This particular specimen bears an underglaze blue reign mark on the bottom of its foot and is one of only four chicken cups in private collections and about a dozen in museums. The key to the importance of chicken cups as a whole, however, lies largely in the charm of their painted figures and the manner of their production. They are exceptional examples of the difficult 15th-century technique called doucai, in which the artists employed multiple firings and enamels to produce pieces with layered colors of cobalt blue, yellow, light and dark olive green, and different tones of iron red. Then, and now, they represent the epitome of Chinese porcelain, and it is believed that they were not only prized possessions of the emperors, but also part of their everyday lives. —A.M.

     

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