By Bose Chan
Remember the last time you broke a bowl and your mummy gave you a good dressing down? A simple chiding is not going let you off on this one.
A seemingly boring and greenish pale looking Imperial Chinese bowl smashed pre-sale estimates by about three folds, fetching nearly $27 million at the Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong. Evidently, one cannot judge a book… or a bowl by its cover, lest it contains such a significant history and comes attached with such a price tag.
Eight bidders competed furiously for the rare flower-shaped bowl made 900 years ago during the Northern Song Dynasty, before a successful bid by an unidentified telephone bidder came in. The bid set a new record for ceramics of that period and also signalling the rising interest in the explosive Chinese arts market.
One can only hope the bidder doesn’t accidentally use it for his next bowl of rice.