A one thousand year old bowl from the Song dynasty was sold in Hong Kong for 294.3 million Hong Kong dollars (32 million Euros), breaking the previous record for the sale of a Chinese ceramic, announced auction house Sotheby’s.
The small piece measuring 13 cm in diameter, dates from 960-1127. The starting price was around 8 million Euros.
It exceeds the price of a wine cup from the Ming dynasty that was purchased in 2014 for the sum of 30 million Euros by a Shanghai tycoon, well known for the astronomical sums he offers.
The buyer of the Song dynasty bowl asked to remain anonymous, explained Sotheby’s, which refused to clarify whether or not he, the buyer, is from mainland China or elsewhere.
“It’s a totally new benchmark for Chinese ceramics and we’ve made history with this piece today,” Nicholas Chow, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, told reporters.
The bowl, originally used for cleaning paint brushes, is one of the rare pieces of Chinese porcelain from the imperial court of the Northern Song dynasty. Just four pieces of porcelain, this particular bowl with the bright blue glaze being among them, are privately owned, added the auction house.
The Ming dynasty wine cup had been bought by Liu Yiqian, former taxi driver turned financier and one of the richest persons in China. He travels all round the globe searching for rare works of art.
Liu, who created his own museum in Shanghai, set new records at auctions, becoming the most famous art collector in China. All the same, he does not despise western art. In 2015, for example, he purchased the Modigliani painting “Nu couché”.