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It is a hugely important part of China's culture, with the small pieces considered the epitome of the Chinese potters' craft.

The last brush washer to be sold publicly was in 2012 when a dish was auctioned by Sotheby's.

The auction house said the person behind the winning proposition wishes to remain anonymous, it's unknown whether the buyer is from China mainland or elsewhere.

Nicolas Chow, deputy chairman of Sotheby's Asia, commented: 'It's a totally new benchmark for Chinese ceramics and we've made history with this piece today,'The price paid for the dish in Hong Kong is a world record for a Chinese ceramics piece, beating the £27 million (.7) paid in April 2014 for a Meiyintang Chenghua 'Chicken Cup'.

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As an article of faith, Baptists do not baptize infants. (11/29/16) Math steps, for kids of all ages (11/28/16) The Harlingue monowheel in April 1914 ("aerial tractor") (11/27/16) Beautiful geometries everywhere. Chansonnier cordiforme de Jean de Montchenu, 1475 (12/07/16) Lines of code, from the Space Shuttle to the modern car (12/06/16) Why programmers work at night (12/05/16) Art from another world (12/04/16) 8 Rejected Technical Papers That Won the Nobel Prize (12/03/16) Shiver with mystery. (12/02/16) Virtual reality head-mounted display, from 1897 (12/01/16) Intriguing postage stamps from Israel, celebrating Isaac Asimov and Jules Verne (11/30/16) Imagine an observer from the 1950s....A statement from the auction house said: 'Today at Sotheby's in Hong Kong, a new world auction record for Chinese Ceramics was set when a highly important and extremely rare Ru guanyao brush washer sold for £28.2 million after a 20 minute bidding battle'.'While seemingly small and unobtrusive, these understated aesthetics reflect the calibre and meticulousness of its craftsmanship, a quiet metaphor of Chinese philosophy celebrated by erudite connoisseurs and scholars throughout time.'It is most likely the dish was made between 10 and it is extraordinarily rare for a Ru vessel to be sold at auction.Today's price tag surpasses the former record made by a tiny white piece known as the 'Chicken Cup'.

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