A small but highly important ceramic dish from Imperial China sold for a world record £28 million ($37.7 million) in Hong Kong yesterday.
The ‘virtually unobtainable’ brush washer is around 1,000 years old and was commissioned by the imperial court during the Song dynasty.
It was made by Ru guanyao, which is one of the most revered of the Five Great Kilns used during this period.
The dish, which has a diameter of just 13cm and would have been used to clean brushes, has a glowing, intense blue-green glaze and ‘ice crackle’ pattern.
It was offered by Sotheby’s with a guide price of £10 million ($13.24 million), but there was a fierce 20-minute bidding war and the dish eventually sold to an anonymous bidder for £28 million ($37.7 million).