A New York family received an unexpected surprise when a ceramic bowl they bought for $3 at a yard sale sold for $2.2 million in a Sotheby’s auction.
The bowl had been on the family’s mantel for several years before they decided to get it evaluated. The appraisal determined that it was a nearly 1,000-year-old Ding bowl, an example of the pottery from the Northern Song dynasty, which ruled China from 960 to 1127.
During the Northern Song, the Song capital was in the northern city of Bianjing and the dynasty controlled most of what is now Eastern China.
Social life during the Song was vibrant. Citizens gathered to view and trade precious artworks, the populace intermingled at public festivals and private clubs, and cities had lively entertainment quarters. The spread of literature and knowledge was enhanced by the rapid expansion of woodblock printing and the 11th-century invention of movable-type printing.
Although the Ding bowl may not have been considered a precious artwork at the time, it has come to be seen as such. It is an artifact of the past. One that connects us with the past and allows us to learn.
The bowl is so rare, in fact, that only one other bowl of the same size, form and identical decoration is known to exist and is housed at the British Museum in London.
What do you think of the New York family learning that a bowl that they bought for $3 would bring them a total of $2.2 million dollars? Are you checking your yard sale finds now? Use the comments section below and share your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you!
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