A 900-year-old porcelain brush washer went under the hammer for $37.68 million (€ 32.09 million), beating the world auction record for Chinese ceramics. The auction held by Sotheby’s happened today in Hong Kong.
The blue-green dish was made during the North Song Dynasty, roughly from the 10th to the 11th Century. Chinese brush washers were created as calligraphy and ink painting became an established practice in China. The small bowls were used to help remove excess ink from paintbrushes.
#AuctionUpdate Record for Chinese porcelain set after 20min battle for Ru guanyao brush washer reaches HK$294.3/US$37.7m #HongKong pic.twitter.com/Vevx6wCOKL— Sotheby’s (@Sothebys) October 3, 2017
The item was made in the most prestigious imperial kiln known as the Ru Guanyao. Ru ware are extremely rare because the furnace is believed to have fired potteries for less than 20 years. The brush washer is one in four privately owned Ru Pottery.
Bidding took approximately 20 minutes. The buyer wished to remain anonymous and did not have their nationality revealed.
The previous record was held by a 500-year-old cup decorated with chickens that was sold in 2014 for $36.1 million (€ 30.75 million).