Spend $3 and earn $2.2M

Auction, secondhand

Auction, secondhand

My job as a child was to clean out the china cabinet once a month. There were heirlooms galore and it made me incredibly nervous cleaning them. I always wondered if they would be worth anything. A Northern Song Dynasty bowl reportedly bought at a garage sale for $3 soared to $2.2 million on Tuesday at a Sotheby’s sale in New York.

Part of Sotheby’s auction of Chinese ceramics and other works of art, the bowl was bought by London dealer Giuseppe Eskenazi, according to the BBC. The consignors were only identified as a New York family. They discovered the bowl at a garage sale in 2007 and are said to have paid just $3 for it.

Far exceeding its estimate of $200,000 to $300,000, the ivory-glazed bowl, 5-inches in diameter and dating from 960 to 1127, featured a carved design and was touted as an example of the highly prized “Ding” ware, known for its thin potting and ivory color.

Sotheby’s claims that just one other similar bowl is known, and it resides in London’s British Museum.

Contributions by
Debra Wattes