Bowled over: No going for a Song

Central Station | 4 Oct 2017

A nearly 900-year-old porcelain Song dynasty bowl smashed the world auction record for Chinese ceramics yesterday, selling for HK$294.3 million at a Sotheby's sale in Hong Kong.

The small, blue-green item broke the previous record, also set in a sale in Hong Kong, when a 500-year-old imperial "chicken" cup from the Ming dynasty Chenghua period sold for

HK$281.2 million in 2014, Sotheby's said.

The 13-centimeter bowl, used to wash brushes, was fired in the famed Northern Song dynasty (960-1127) kilns in Ruzhou, and was sold to an anonymous buyer after a 20-minute bidding battle.

Such "Ru guanyao" wares - known for their intense blue-green glaze and "ice-crackle" pattern - are extremely rare because the kiln in Henan had a brief production run of only about two decades.

The bowl, from the Chang Foundation in Taiwan's Hongxi Museum, is one of only four known Ru heirlooms in private hands. The nationality of the buyer was not revealed.

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