Imperial Chinese bowl

An extremely rare Chinese porcelain bowl fetched nearly $27 million in Hong Kong on Wednesday, smashing pre-sale estimates by about three times.

The price sets a new record for a piece of ceramic from the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), according to Sotheby’s.

“The piece is possibly the greatest masterpiece of Song ceramic that we have ever offered in Hong Kong,” Sotheby’s Asia deputy chairman Nicolas Chow said.

“Ru” ceramics — named after one of five large kilns operating under the Song — are the rarest in China, and it is estimated that only 79 complete pieces remain in the world, most in museums.

Of the 79 surviving Ru ware dishes, the “Ruyao Washer” is the only one that features an organic floral shape and an opaque glaze, he said.

Chinese art prices have rocketed in recent years, fuelled by China’s economic boom and a steady demand from rich Asian collectors, especially Chinese buyers.

Chinese porcelain bowl