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1,000-year-old Chinese dish just 5in wide is set to fetch £10m

A SMALL but highly-prized ceramic dish from Imperial China is expected to sell for more than £10million next month.

The 1,000-year-old brush washer, which was commissioned during the Song dynasty, comes from Ru guanyao, the most revered of the five great kilns used during this period. It is one of only four Ru pieces in private hands.

With a diameter of just over 5in, the ‘ice crackle’ glaze dish was made between 1086 and 1106.

Ru pieces are rare because they were only produced for about 20 years and are considered the epitome of the Chinese potters’ craft.

The last brush washer to be sold publicly fetched £16.8million in 2012 following a tense battle. Sotheby’s is handling this sale in Hong Kong on October 3.

Nicolas Chow, the auction house’s Asia deputy chairman, called it the finest example among the pieces in private hands. He said it was ‘a unique opportunity to acquire a near perfect and ravishing brush washer from the Northern Song dynasty Ru kilns’.