Ceramic Rarity To Go Under The Hammer On April 4
Chinese collectors are expected to bid up a storm on everything from Chinese contemporary art to wine at the upcoming spring auction series in Hong Kong, but one piece of rare pottery in particular has attracted their attention in a big way on its pre-sale tour. As the Hong Kong Standard reports this week, the rare imperial ceramic bowl, which dates back around 900 years, could fetch upwards of US$10 million (HK$78 million) when it goes under the hammer next month.
Following a showing in Shanghai, where it attracted huge crowds, Sotheby’s decided to pull back a planned public showing this weekend in Beijing, instead opening the bowl up for view only to potential buyers. As Nicholas Chow, deputy head of Sotheby’s Asia, said, “An object has rarely generated so much excitement and for security reasons, we thought it would be preferable for our clients to view it within the confines of a private room.”
Made during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), the flower shaped “Ru” bowl is particularly attractive among Chinese collectors as its pale, translucent blue-green glaze mimics the color of jade, and its age and rarity makes it one of the only examples of this style known to exist. Named after one of the five large kilns operating during the Song Dynasty, Ru ceramics are by far the rarest in China, with only around 80 examples remaining, and most of those already in museum collections.
As Chow said of the bowl, “We sell incredibly rare objects, but this is a different realm of rarity.”