A rare 'Ding' 'mallow' dish. Northern Song dynasty. Photo Sotheby's

finely potted in the form of an open mallow flower, the low walls smoothly rounded to an everted and lobed rim, the petals outlined by elegantly incised 'S'-curves on both the outside and inside, covered overall with an even translucent ivory glaze, the rim bound with silver, the base incised on one side with three characters before firing but after glazing, reading wu wang fu (residence of the fifth prince). Diameter 9 5/8 in., 24.5 cm. Estimate 40,000-60,000 USD

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art. New York | 20 Mar 2012 www.sothebys.com