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“Bit and bobs” Chinese bowl sells for £385,000

Picture: Stamford Auction Rooms

A bowl kept on a sideboard with other “bric-a-brac” has been sold for £385,000.

The plain five inches tall bowl is thought to be more than 900-years-old.


The hidden treasure was unearthed when auctioneers in Stamford, Lincolnshire, were asked to value a late couple’s collection of antiques.

Among the pieces Jessica Wall found the cracked celadon green pot with three legs.

Because of its lack of markings, the bowl was listed as a “Chinese table jardinière”.

It was valued at between £500 to £800.

However, potential bidders suspected the bowl was a piece of 12th Century Ru pottery.

Ru was made for the imperial court during the Song dynasty around 1100.

It is one of the “Five Great Kilns” from the period.

Fewer than 100 pieces are known to exists.

Three bidders chased the item.

Miss Wall said:

“I went to view the contents of a deceased estate, a nice old, detached property that had been owned by a couple who collected all sorts of stuff including Chinese art, silver and antique furniture.

“This bowl was on a sideboard in the dining room with other bits and bobs.

“It had just been put to one side and it wasn’t pride of place by any means.

“The family had no idea what it was worth.

“As far as they were concerned it had been in the family for a very long time.

“We researched it, but nothing came up.

“We didn’t put an age to it because we couldn’t be certain and we kept the description of it quite simple.

“We gave it an estimate of between £500 to £800 which we genuinely thought was the right estimate.

“Quite often Chinese art can be very hard to date.

“We had a lot of interest in it before the sale and that is when we realised it could be quite rare.

“The buyer knows what they have purchased – it appears to be an early piece of Ru ware.

“The vendors are obviously very happy, and it has been a lovely surprise for them.

“I am also really pleased.”

In 2017, a Ru brush-washer dish set a record auction price when it sold it Hong Kong for £24.9m.



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