A New York family scored a huge payday when this small bowl, which they bought at a garage sale for $3, (Rs 163) turned out to be a 1,000-year old Chinese piece that sold for $2.2 million (Rs 12 crore) at Sotheby’s yesterday.
The family bought the rare bowl at the secondhand sale in 2007, and kept it sitting on their mantle for years, the auction house said.
After becoming curious, the bargain hunters began consulting experts about the bowl. They finally brought the piece to Sotheby’s, which estimated it would sell for somewhere in the $200,000 to $300,000 range.
But yesterday, London art dealer Giuseppe Eskenazi blew away those figures when he plunked down $2.2 million for the museum-quality piece.
He beat four other bidders for the Northern Song dynasty bowl — known as a Ding bowl — which dates back to the 10th or 11th century.
There is only one other bowl like it in the world, and it is in the British Museum. It is a little less than 5 1/2 inches in diameter. The ancient piece is described as a Ding bowl because of the county Ding in the Hebei province where the kilns used to make the bowls were housed.
The Ding bowl owned by the British Museum in London has been on display for more than 60 years, since it was bequeathed by famous collector Henry J Oppenheim.
5.5 inches Diameter of the antique bowl
$200,000 Christie’s initial estimation for the bowl
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