The Wall Street Journal’s Scene Asia blog got on the phone with the buyer of the Chicken Cup who won out in a seven-minute bidding battle over Giuseppe Eskenazi who had been telling the press weeks before the auction that the owners were going to sell the cup privately. Eskenazi told Scene Asia that he was in up to 200m HKD but auction fever dragged him up to 245m HKD before being topped at 250m HKD. With the buyer’s premium the final price came in at 281.2m HKD or 36.3m USD:
The buyer, Shanghai-based collector Liu Yiqian, didn’t flinch at the final tally.
“Why do you all care so much about the price?” he told The Wall Street Journal in a telephone interview after the sale, adding that he thought the amount he paid was reasonable.
“I bought it only because I like it,” said Mr. Liu, who made his fortune in finance. He also owns, along with his wife Wang Wei, the Long Museum in Shanghai, a private museum that houses a portion of his vast collection.
Mr. Liu […] plans to eventually exhibit his new acquisition at his museum for the public to view.
“I will show it at an appropriate time,” he said. “You will see it.”