Northern Song dynasty ruyao circular lobed brushwasher, HK$185m (£15.9m) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong.

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This was someway down on the equivalent bumper series last year which took just over HK$3.49bn (then around £274.8m), the auctioneers' highest ever total in Hong Kong, (and one worth more if the HK$290m worth of aftersales from a falangcai pheasant vase and a Chenghua bowl are included).

The highest price of the latest series was the HK$185m (£15.9m) for this 5¼in (13.5cm) Northern Song dynasty ruyao circular lobed brushwasher from a Japanese private collection.

The finely potted dish made a triple-estimate price and sold anonymously after a 15-minute bidding battle.

It sets a new record for Song ceramics beating by a considerable margin the HK$60m mallet-shaped vase offered in the same rooms in April 2008, a piece that had also come from a Japanese collection.