This Tuesday a 1,000-year-old bowl from China’s Song dynasty was sold at auction for $37.7m breaking the record for Chinese porcelain. The small piece dating from 960-1127, measuring 13cm in diameter broke the previous record for a Ming dynasty wine cup sold $36.05 million set in 2014. Bidding started at around $10.2m, and the auction lasted for 20 minutes before the winning offer came from a phone bidder. The bowl – designed initially to wash brushes – is an example of extremely rare Chinese porcelain from the imperial court of the Northern Song dynasty and one of only four pieces in private hands, according to Sotheby’s. It exceeded an earlier record made for a tiny white porcelain cup, made between 1465 and 1487 during the reign of the Chenghua emperor representing a rooster and a hen tending to their chicks, sold in 2014 to the Chinese Liu Yiqian, one of the wealthiest people in the world.