Bowl sold for RM169mil in Hong Kong


Bowled over: Chow studying the rare Ru Guanyao brush washer after it sold for a record-breaking amount at an auction in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong: A 1,000-year-old bowl from China’s Song Dynasty sold for US$37.7mil (RM169mil) in Hong Kong, breaking the record for Chinese ceramics, auction house Sotheby’s said.

The small piece – which dates from 960-1127 – stole the previous record of US$36.05mil (RM153mil) set in 2014 for a Ming Dynasty wine cup which was snapped up by a Shanghai tycoon famous for making eye-watering bids.

The person behind yesterday’s winning offer wished to remain anonymous, Sotheby’s said, with the auction house declining to say whether the buyer hailed from the Chinese mainland or not.

“It’s a totally new benchmark for Chinese ceramics and we’ve made history with this piece today,” Nicolas Chow, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, told reporters.

Bidding started at around US$10.2mil (RM43mil), with the suspense-filled auction lasting some 20 minutes as a handful of phone bidders and one person in the room itself competed with each other.

The winning offer eventually came from one of the phone bidders and was received by a round of applause.

The bowl – originally designed to wash brushes – is an example of extremely rare Chinese porcelain from the imperial court of the Northern Song Dynasty and one of only four such pieces in private hands, according to Sotheby’s.

Measuring 13cm in diameter, the dish features a luminous blue glaze.

The price tag exceeds the earlier record made by a tiny white piece known as the “Chicken Cup”, decorated with a colour painting of a rooster and a hen tending to their chicks, and created during the reign of the Chenghua Emperor between 1465 and 1487.

That cup sold in 2014 to taxi-driver-turned-financier Liu Yiqian, one of China’s wealthiest people and among a new class of Chinese super-rich scouring the globe for artwork and antiquities. — AFP

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