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Made 900 years ago, the Ru Guanyao bowl has just set an eye-watering $38 million Sotheby's world record at auction for Chinese porcelain, but Ikea has the budget version
We wouldn’t blame you if you let this little eau de nil dessert bowl pass you by at your local boot sale. To the untrained eye, it looks like any other piece of crockery that has seen better days.
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But this little ice-crackle bowl will certainly never be used to serve cheesecake or ice-cream. It’s just sold at a Hong Kong Sotheby’s auction for an extraordinary $38 million. That’s around £28 million.
It is in fact a rare and ancient Ru guanyao—or ice crackle—brush washer bowl, used to clean painting and calligraphy brushes.
The antique Chinese bowl was made around nine centuries ago during the Song Dynasty. It’s said to originate from the once-famous kilns of Ruzhou, situated in the now-central Chinese province of Henan. It was fought over at auction, driving its price from a guide of $10 million up to the final jaw dropping figure.
It is thought that only six other Ru ceramics have appeared at auction since 1940. The last was another Ru ice crackle bowl, selling at Sotheby’s for $27 million.
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However, if you don’t happen to have a budget that big for dinnerware, worry not. Ikea says that many have commented that the antique’s appearance is super similar to the Dinera bowl, which costs just £1.50.
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An Ikea spokesperson commented: ‘We are extremely flattered that people are comparing our Dinera bowl to this rare Chinese bowl that is so sought after. At IKEA we are all about democratic design, and believe that good home furnishing is for everyone. So we’re delighted to be able to offer our customers a similar look for a lot less.’
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And that certainly is A LOT less – £27999998.50 less to be precise!