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 4:01 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
The U.S. has promised to supply and train "acceptable" rebels in Syria to counter ISIS. But who are they and are can the strategy work?
updated 10:57 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Do the Chinese really like to mix their Bordeaux with Coca-Cola?
updated 5:38 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Al Qaeda's new Syrian branch, Khorasan, is seeking new ways to attack America and Europe, with a top U.S. intelligence official saying it has "aspirations for attacks on the homeland."
updated 8:39 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Branded an "extremist" by China's state-run media, Joshua Wong isn't even old enough to drive.
updated 2:55 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised political pundits with his rapid rise to power. CNN meets the man behind the enigma.
updated 7:44 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Liverpool's Italian forward Mario Balotelli reacts during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Liverpool and Ludogorets Razgrad at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool on September 16, 2014.
British police launched an investigation into abusive tweets sent to Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli.
updated 7:44 PM EDT, Sun September 21, 2014
A woman who was texting her husband before he was killed reflects on the Westgate attack.
updated 11:54 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
The real secret to a faster commute has been with us all along -- the bus.
updated 9:16 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
13 brands retained their Top 20 status from last year, according to an annual survey.
updated 11:49 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Think your new tattoo is cool? Look at how our ancestors did it and think again.
updated 7:00 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 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