Photo: Flickr via orangeacid
Yesterday a Chinese shipping magnate, Hu Zhen Yu, paid a record-breaking amount for a Dutch fancy pigeon of the Dolce Vita breed, Bruno Waterfield reports for The Telegraph. The amount was $328,000, MSNBC reported. The bird was auctioned off in a group of 245 pigeons on the Belgian website Pigeon Paradise, or PIPA.
Hu Zhen Yu bought the bird for breeding, not racing, Waterfield reported.
Last January, a pedigreed Belgian racing pigeon, Blue Prince, sold for $200,000 to a Chinese buyer; and in November, the pigeon Euro Diamond sold for almost $225,000, making it the most expensive pigeon ever sold, until this latest purchase, Waterfield reported.
It might be worth asking why buyers are dropping so much money for birds which, in America at least, have such a dirty reputation. In Europe, though, the sport of pigeon fancying has a noble history, dating back to the Romans and Charlemagne, according to Robert Frank of The Wall Street Journal.
And for most of the twentieth century, fancying was a middle-class pastime, especially in Britain, Belgium, Holland, and Germany, Waterfield reports.
A British fancier of 70 years named Ken Ambler told Waterfield that the simple amenities required to house and treat pigeons have changed drastically since fancying became a sport of the luxury world, especially in China.
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