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The sale, called Ming: The Intervention of Imperial Taste, comprises 14 “masterpieces” that have been catalogued chronologically to show the development of ceramic techniques.

The highlights of the sale include a rare Anhua-decorated Tianbai-Glazed Meiping from the Ming Dynasty, Yongle Period which carries an estimate $2.3m-2.8m. It is described as “beautifully potted with its full rounded shoulders and short waisted neck, the meiping is finely incised with a frieze of peony scrolls and lotus sprays”.

A second highlight from the sale is an important blue and white moon flask. The flask had been exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston between 2012-2015, and also shown at the Oriental Ceramic Society’s ‘China Without Dragons’ exhibition at the end of last year. It carries an estimate of $2.2m-3m.

300 Year Reign

Sotheby’s said the sale in March “explores the diplomatic role that exceptional porcelain, produced during the 300 year reign of the Ming Dynasty, played in China and beyond”.

The auction house said the works of art “epitomise the Dr. John Alexander Pope’s quote from 1971” of “It may well be that no product, either industrial or artistic, or both, ever combined greater beauty and utility or exercised wider influence over such a large part of the world as did Ming porcelain.”