08 April 2014

$36-million for a cup? Some people are just too rich

It's called the chicken cup because it's got chickens painted on it. The world's highest priced birds, in fact. The cup fetched $36.1-million, including commission, at Sotheby's spring auction in Hong Kong. Described as the "the holy grail when it comes to Chinese art," the cup set a record for Chinese porcelain.

It was bought by self-made multimillionaire Liu Yiqian for his museum in Shanghai. Liu isn't all that rich, worth a mere $900-million, not even a billionaire, and only the 200th richest man in China, yet apparently rich enough to pay $36-million for a cup. He was bemused by the fuss over the purchase. "Why do you all care so much about the price?" he asked, "I bought it only because I like it."

While not wanting to begrudge Liu his riches (he made his money in the stock market), there is something vaguely obscene about paying millions for a cup, even a Ming Dynasty cup, when many on the planet would be grateful for the rice to fill it.

1 comment:

  1. There is no such thing as a "self-made multimillionaire". Making money off the stock market is not earning it. He got rich off the blood and sweat of exploited workers.