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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

$3 garage sale find sells for $2.2 million


Yesterday, Sotheby's sold a 5-inch ceramic bowl for $2.2 million to a London dealer of Oriental art. No biggie, right? Precious objects trade for precious sums on daily basis. What makes this sale so unusual is that the bowl was originally purchased at a New York garage sale in 2007 for $3. THREE DOLLARS.

The family kept the bowl on their fireplace mantel for several years before investigating its origins with experts. It turns out the bowl is from the Northern Song Dynasty which ruled China from 960 to 1127, and "the only other known bowl of similar size and design has been in the collection of the British Museum for more than 60 years."

Does anyone else hope West Elm knocks off this beauty? That sawtooth design is on point!

15 comments:

sanctuaryhome said...

You should be in West Elm or Anthropologie product design. I can't absolutely see this in either of those stores. I was thinking I might need to go to some thrift stores this weekend to get my head out of the delusional cloud that doing high end interior design puts me in. Now, I am going to be looking for my own Song Dynasty bowl - can't be that hard to find, right?

priscilla said...

I've had some great scores at tag and garage sales but this is amazing.

David said...

One of the local auction houses posted a link to this too. Past the whole story of the sale it really is a beautiful bowl. If someone knocks it off I'll totally buy one.

Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door said...

Why don't I ever find something that awesome at a garage sale?! Lucky bastards.

jtc said...

Wait......I am sure I have one in my garage....where is that box?

jtc said...

Seriously - does anyone know the whole story on this? How did they just happen after years to decide to check out their garage sale bowl with experts - I probably would have gotten bored with it and sold it at MY garage sale.

Modern Country Lady said...

pretty cool design- an hwo awesome is that.. I can see a whole dinner servcie with this :-0

An Urban Cottage said...

I'd buy a whole set of them. I hope they match my white appliances!

brismod said...

That bowl was a bargain at $3! It's a thrift shop junkie's dream.

Who\'d Have Thought said...

No way! That is an amazing story. Now everyone's going to get their thrift shop bargains checked out! Jane

life, in small chunks said...

Most of the time when I see these kinds of stories I think "that would never happen to me because I would never buy that"(whatever that particular item was). But this time I thought "damn. I would've bought that at a garage sale in a hot second!"

Annie Smith said...

too lucky!!!

Matters of Style said...

Wow! I wonder how in the world they figured that out. Surely it wasn't signed? I wish I knew more about Chinese pieces. All that rose medallion looks the same to me...

Brenda Murphy said...

It really is pretty. I thought it was lotus motif, but what the hell do I know?!

Raina Cox said...

Brenda Murphy - The ancient lotus motif translates well to today's chevron obsession.