The hot ticket item in Sotheby’s series of eight spring sales, which began this weekend in Hong Kong, is a glazed stoneware bowl made in the Ru kilns during the Northern Song dynasty (11th-12th centuries). Only 79 examples have survived, according to Sotheby’s Henry Howard-Sneyd, of which just five are privately held. At Wednesday’s session, “Ru—From A Japanese Collection,” it’s expected to sell for $7.7m-$10.3m.
Update: The Ru bowl sold for an astonishing $26m.During the week, Sotheby’s will offer 2,900 lots with a $233m pre-sale estimate, down from last year’s total of $337m for 3,600 lots. The big question: will Chinese art, so much in demand quite recently, continue a weakening trend?