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 10:42 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Successful launch of lunar orbiter, seen as a precursor for a planned mission to the surface of the moon, marks significant advance for the country's space program.
updated 3:15 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
updated 4:06 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
updated 6:08 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
CEO's 30-min Putonghua chat is the perfect charm offensive for Facebook's last untapped market.
updated 11:45 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
updated 4:58 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
updated 10:14 AM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
updated 11:33 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
updated 12:07 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
updated 1:48 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
updated 5:59 AM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
updated 6:21 AM EDT, Fri October 24, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT