A 900-year-old Chinese bowl has sold at an auction for nearly $27 million on Wednesday.
The extremely rare item was only expected to receive a winning bid of about one-third the eventual total during a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong, Associated Foreign Press reports. The purchase by an anonymous bidder breaks the previous record for the most expensive ceramic bowl from the era. Sotheby's says the bowl is from the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) and easily tops a 2008 auction on a Guan Mallet Vase from the same era.
"The Ruyao Washer is among the most sophisticated achievements in Chinese ceramics. Its appearance on the market has created enormous excitement," Sotheby's Asia deputy chairman Nicolas Chow said.
Earlier estimates had the bowl going for about $10 million.
It is said that only 79 complete pieces from the era remain in existence. Eight individuals took part in the 15-minute competitive bidding process, vying for the flower-shaped bowl.
The bowl comes from a private Japanese collection and is "arguably the most desirable piece of Ru official ware remaining in private hands," according to Sotheby's.
With China's booming economy, Hong Kong has become one of the world's top auction spots, behind New York and London.
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