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Broken into many pieces but meticulously restored, this celebrated Northern Song dynasty (960-1127AD) peony vase was widely considered to be amongst the finest examples of Cizhou ware ever produced in China. Condition notwithstanding, the 11in (28cm) high black and white carved ceramic
masterpiece had been widely exhibited in Japan and was consigned by Japanese
businessman and eminent Asian art collector Mr Tohu Toguri to Sotheby's 100-lot single-owner sale of Chinese and Korean ceramics from Tokyo's Toguri Museum of Art on June 9.

With an estimate on request of offers above £500,000, the vase was contested to a monumental £600,000 (plus 20/12 per cent buyer's premium) by the Taiwanese-based
dealer My Humble House, bidding in the room against the Shanghai trade.

The vase was the highlight of a Bond Street sale that realised a lofty £4.77m hammer total and a 75 per cent take-up by lot. The punchy price bid for this vase, as well as for many other entries in this sale, underscored the continued strength of the Asian market for the best quality Chinese works.