A Chinese porcelain bowl dating to at least 900 years ago has come to light in the Dresden State Art Collections (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen) in Germany. According to a report by the Art Newspaper, the presence of a rare Ru bowl in the collection was revealed during a research effort that started in 2014.
Ru ceramics were created in the latter years of the Northern Song Dynasty in China for the imperial court. The bowl in the Dresden State Art Collections, which was identified by researcher and expert in Chinese ceramics Regina Krahl, is reportedly one of 88 pieces of its kind known to survive today.
“Out of the wealth of Chinese ceramics from every era, Ru ware are the rarest of all and have always been considered the absolute pinnacle of the art, not just because of their simple beauty, but also above all due to their historical significance,” Krahl told the Art Newspaper, adding that the Dresden State Art Collections’s Ru bowl is “an exceptionally good example of its kind.”
The newly identified Ru bowl measures about 5 inches in diameter and has a turquoise glaze. Experts believe that it was likely used for washing brushes at the time of its creation.
“As the Song dynasty was driven into the south of China by invaders shortly afterwards, Ru ceramics became a mythologised memento of an idealised lost past immediately after their creation,” Julia Weber, director of Dresden’s Porcelain Collection, said in a statement.
The Ru bowl revelation, which follows the 2017 sale of a similar piece at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong for $37.7 million, has not been the only major art news to come out of Dresden in recent months. In November, authorities made arrests in conjunction with the $1.2 billion jewel theft at the Green Vault of Dresden’s Royal Palace, which is part of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen consortium.