Song dynasty bowl brings World Record price of US$26.7m at Sotheby's

The incredibly rare Ruyao Washer made during the Song dynasty (960-1279 AD), tripled its pre-sale estimate yesterday (April 4), with a hammer price of HK$208m (US$26.7m).


Song dynasty bowl
This Song dynasty bowl sold for $26.7M


Six bidders competed for over 15 minutes at the Hong Kong auction house in the final day of Sotheby's Spring Sale 2012.  

The sale price set a new record for Song ceramics, beating the 2008 record for a Guan Mallet Vase, which sold for HK$67.52M (US$8.69m).

The dish is thought to be one of only 79 complete pieces from Ru ceramics, named after one of the five large kilns in operation during the Song Dynasty, which were commissioned by the Imperial Court.

This example being the only bowl with an organic floral shape and opaque glaze, bidders were eager to own the modest washer.  The majority of Ru wares are held in museums with only a few remaining in private collections.

Sotheby's Asia deputy chairman Nicolas Chow said, "The Ruyao Washer is among the most sophisticated achievements in Chinese ceramics. Its appearance on the market has created enormous excitement,"

Highlights from the sale include a blue-and-white Anhua stem bowl, part of The Meinyintang Collection, which achieved an impressive HK$112.7M (US$14.4M)

The five-day Spring Sale 2012 from Sotheby's brought a total of HK$2.4 billion (US$316M), cementing Hong Kong's position as the world's third largest auction centre, behind New York and London.  The Chinese art market has become the world's largest, with explosive growth due to the country's economic boom.



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