In New York, during the Asia Week, Christie’s auctioned off the J. J. Lally & Co. Sale on March 23rd, which had an impressive 85.5% sell-through rate and raked in a sale total of US$18.7 million. The most anticipated item of the sale was two fragments from Ru-type vessels that were dated back to the late 11th to early 12th centuries. The lot was so highly sought after that it sold for a whopping US$94,500, well over its low estimate of US$1,000.
Ru ware is considered to be the ultimate prize for collectors of Chinese ceramics and works of art. The ware dates back to the Northern Song dynasty and is famous for its luminous jade-like glaze and perfectly proportioned shape. However, Ru ware is extremely rare, with less than one hundred pieces known to exist, most of which are held in the Palace Museums in mainland China and Taipei.
Although the Ru kiln produced a variety of ceramics, including black and three-color wares with decorations, it was most well-known for its imperial porcelains. It was not until the mid-late Northern Song dynasty that the court commissioned for imperial wares to be made at the Ru kiln site. Since then, a small workshop area had been set aside for making the official wares, which were only available for purchase by court officials. The rejected ceramics, along with other ceramics produced at the site, would circulate in the market and often be named “Ru-type” wares.