A New York family scored a huge payday when a small bowl, which they bought at a garage sale for $3, turned out to be a 1,000-year old Chinese piece that sold for $2.2 million 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.