In an unusual move, the auctioneer Sotheby’s arranged a special handover ceremony at its Hong Kong offices last Saturday. The item being presented to its new owner was the Ming Chenghua Chicken Cup, which was bought for the record sum of $36 million by China’s Liu Yiqian for his Long Museum in Shanghai. A very rare piece of porcelain formerly belonging to Chinese emperors, the cup is now being returned to ‘the motherland’, bringing Liu much fanfare at the time of the auction (see WiC233).
At the ceremony last weekend, Liu then surprised the media by drinking Pu’er tea from the cup in question. Also surprising was the way that he paid for the item. Liu used his credit card, signing 24 stubs in front of reporters (see photo above). But as Apple Daily pointed out that there was a practical reason for paying with plastic: a tonne of credit card points. Helpfully, the newspaper calculated that Liu was also eligible for HK$1.4 million worth of coupons ($181,000) that could be redeemed in Hong Kong supermarket ParknShop.
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