Skip to main content

Bought for $3 at yard sale, bowl sells for $2.2 million

By Georgia McCafferty, for CNN
updated 5:35 AM EDT, Thu March 21, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A bowl bought for $3 at a yard sale sold for $2.2 million on Tuesday
  • The 1,000-year-old bowl was on display in the previous owner's living room
  • Initial estimates valued the bowl at $200,000 to $300,000

(CNN) -- A rare Chinese bowl bought for about $3 from a yard sale in the U.S. sold for $2.2 million at an auction in New York on Tuesday.

The bowl, found in New York state, "was bought for a few dollars from a tag sale near the consignor's home in the summer of 2007," said Cecilia Leung of Sotheby's. "At the time, the purchaser had no idea that they had happened upon a 1,000-year-old treasure."

The previous owner displayed the bowl in their living room for several years before they became curious about its origins and had it assessed, Leung said. Sotheby's pre-sale estimates valued the bowl, which measures just five inches in diameter, at between $200,000 to $300,000.

The 'Ding' bowl is an example of Northern Song Dynasty pottery and described by Sotheby's as "remarkable and exceptionally beautiful."

The only other known bowl of the same size, form and almost identical decoration has been in the collection of the British Museum in London for over 60 years, according to Sotheby's.

The bowl was purchased by London dealer, Giuseppe Eskenazi, for $2,225,000, after a prolonged battle between four bidders.

Rare coin collection set to make a mint

Princess Diana's dress auctioned off

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:42 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
It was supposed to be a class trip to a resort island. Instead, the ferry capsized, turning the afternoon into a deadly nightmare.
updated 1:31 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
It's hard not to be nervous, standing outside the Ebola isolation wards.
updated 8:58 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Ukraine says it's forces have regained control of an airfield from Russian separatists. Nick Paton Walsh reports.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
updated 5:16 PM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Officials are launching their next option: an underwater vehicle to scan the ocean floor.
updated 1:53 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
How are police preparing for this year's 26.2-mile marathon, which takes place Monday?
updated 1:02 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
Katrina Karkazis
Romance is hard, for anyone. For people with intersex traits, love poses unique challenges.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis".
updated 5:26 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
The "kill switch," a system for remotely disabling smartphones and wiping their data, will become standard in 2015.
updated 12:32 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
updated 2:51 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
Sky gazers caught a glimpse of the "blood moon" crossing the Earth's shadow Tuesday in all its splendor.
updated 11:09 AM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
A staff stands next to the propellers of Sun-powered plane Solar Impulse 2 HB-SIB seen in silhouette during its first exit for test on April 14, 2014 in Payerne, a year ahead of their planned round-the-world flight. Solar Impulse 2 is the successor of the original plane of the same name, which last year completed a trip across the United States without using a drop of fuel. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
This solar-powered aircraft will attempt to circle the globe next year.
ADVERTISEMENT