700-year-old Chinese ceramic expected to fetch over $7m


A 700-year-old Chinese vase, from the Southern Song Dynasty, is expected to fetch more than US$7.7 million when it goes under the hammer in an upcoming auction at Sotheby’s Hong Kong.

The vase comes from the same collection as a 900-year-old bowl that smashed the world auction record for Chinese Song Dynasty ceramics when it was sold in 2012.

The vase comes from the same collection as a 900-year-old bowl which smashed world auction record for Chinese Song Dynasty ceramics when it was sold in 2012, according to Sotheby’s.

According to Sotheby’s, the octagonal shape, inspired by archaic bronzes, required a high level of technique to make.

“It’s got a very, very attractive and beautiful glaze. The shape, this rare octagonal shape, would have been very, very difficult to fire and produce during the Southern Song Dynasty. So, actually, technically, to create this at the time it would have been very, very difficult,” said Julian King, Int’l specialist of Chinese Works of Art Dept., Sotheby’s.

He also said a “guan yao” vase, an official ware especially created for the imperial court during the Southern Song Dynasty, had not been seen in the auction market for 40 years.

“For a Song Dynasty vase, this is your one chance in 40 years to collect it. And this is something worth for the wealthiest collectors in China who are building museums which can be open to the public. I think they will have a very positive reception to buy this back. If they want to showcase it in a private museum in China, it will raise the kudos of not only their museum but say the cultural heritage of China as a whole,” King said.

“I don’t think this will have any affect. For a Song Dynasty vase, this is your one chance in forty years to collect it. And this is something worth for the wealthiest collectors in China who are building museums which can be open to the public. I think they (the Chinese) will have a very positive reception to buy this back. If they want to showcase it in a private museum in China (it) will raise the kudos of not only their museum but say the cultural heritage of China as a whole,” King said.
Sotheby’s Hong Kong Chinese Works of Art Spring Sales will take place on 7 April.