One of the biggest auction sales of 2014 –and a pretty good stunt too– was Chinese collector Liu Yiqian successfull bid $36 million for this rare porcelain “chicken cup” from the Chengua period at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong. He paid for it by using his American Express card, racking up nearly 422 million reward points as a result. He then posed for pictures sipping out of the cup. Nicolas Chow, Sotheby’s Asia deputy chairman, said:
“There have been lots of transactions in China for large amounts that never come into fruition. With that knowledge he wanted to show it’s a real transaction and he’s paying.”
Apparently, Liu hadn’t even thought about the credit card reward points until one of their reporters contacted him. He is checking now to find out about how many points he can get. He is bringing the cup back to Shanghai, where his own Long Museum is located. Liu had to sign 24 separate AmEx receipts because the system could only take transactions up to HK$12 million at a time.