The ‘holy grail’ has been sought in vain by wise men, philosophers, knights, religious cults, Nazis and your everyday have-a-go adventurer for centuries, so how did the grail end up in a Hong Kong auction house, packaged and sold like a common whore to the highest bidder?
Before we continue, we should mention that this particular ‘holy grail’ was not the legendary grail Jesus Christ supped from at the Last Supper. The same holy grail later used by St. Joseph of Arimathea to collect Christ’s blood, sweat and tears as he suffered in torment on the cross.
This grail is a wine cup but it’s not particularly holy, unless your god is Mammon, and then it’s of huge religious significance. ‘This ‘holy grail’ is just 3.1 inches in diameter, is insanely rare and was purchased by a man rumored to be China’s 200th richest person for a cool $30 million.
The ‘holy grail’ in question looks like something you wouldn’t give a second glance if it was retailing for a few cents at a bargain basement bonanza. Simply put, this grail is ugly. It’s a piece of nondescript porcelain covered with a very poorly drawn decoration of a cockerel and hen tending to their chicks.
The grail’s value comes from the fact that it is over 500 years old and was made during the reign of the Ming Chenghua Emperor and is apparently one of only 17 so called ‘chicken cups’ left in the world. Needless to say it’s doubtful if King Arthur of Indiana Jones would get too hot under the collar about this ‘holy grail’.
Eccentric multimillionaire art collector Liu Yigian did. The rich art lover from Shanghai loved the ‘grail’ so much he walked out of Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, $30 million poorer but with a little white cup described as the ‘holy grail’ of Chinese art.
Porcelain has never been more pricey and when the hammer came down on the sale of the ‘holy grail’, a loud and appreciative applause rang around the room. Everyone loves a sucker, and a mug shelling out for a cup with a few chickens on it is extremely amusing. One outraged punter was rumored to have bellowed in shock: “What the cluck?”
Sotheby’s deputy chairman for Asia, Nicholas Crow explained: “There’s no more legendary object in the history of Chinese porcelain. This is really the holy grail when it comes to Chinese art.”
Mr Crow added: “Every time a chicken cup comes up on the market, it totally redefines prices in the field of Chinese art.”
What Jesus Christ would make of this ‘holy grail’ is anybody’s guess, but with poverty, hunger and disease running rampant the world over and the gap between the rich and the poor widening with every day, now would be a fine time for the real holy grail to make an appearance.