Sotheby’s is displaying a “Ru” bowl from the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127) in Beijing to promote its April 4th sale in Hong Kong but the extremely rare ceramic caused such crowds they were forced to limit access to it:
“There are very few of these as they were imperial pieces and also because they were made over a very short period of time — 20 years,” Jean-Paul Desroches, curator at the Guimet Museum in Paris, told AFP.
There are only six “Ru” ceramics in private collections, including this bowl — probably intended for washing brushes after writing — which could fetch up to HK$80 million ($10.3 million) at Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong on April 4.
“We sell incredibly rare objects, but this is a different realm of rarity,” said Chow.
Chow says the bowl will next be shown in Taiwan where a larger pool of potential buyers exists:
“The Taiwanese are probably among the most sophisticated collectors in the field of Chinese art,” said Chow.
“They’ve been buying for a long time, they are at a stage where they are not building collections… they’ll pick something extraordinary to raise their collection.”
Rare Imperial Bowl Causes Stir in China (AFP/Khaleej Times)