One more example of item bought at garage sale for a paltry amount that reached a whopping price at auction. A rare, 1,000-year-old Chinese bowl bought for $3 from a garage sale in the U.S. sold for $2.225 million at Sotheby’s fine Chinese ceramics and works of art auction Tuesday. It was sold to a London dealer, Giuseppe Eskenazi for far above the pre-sale estimate of $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 bowl from an era when the Song Dynasty ruled China was bought by a New York family from a tag sale near the consignor’s home in the summer of 2007. They displayed the bowl in their living room for several years before they became curious about its origins and had it assessed.
The bowl displays all the characteristics attributed to the finest ‘Ding’ wares known in museum and private collections: the finely potted body of slightly rounded and steep flared form rising from a short spreading foot to an upright rim, deftly carved to the interior with scrolling leafy lotus sprays, the exterior carved and molded with three rows of overlapping upright leaves, applied overall with an even ivory-colored glaze with characteristic teardrops at the base, the rim of the bowl and the footrim left unglazed showing the fine compact body beneath. Diameter 5 3/8 in., 13.4 cm.
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.