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Porcelain Bowl Bought at Yard Sale for $35 Could Sell at Auction for $500,000

And like any devotee Antique roadshow The chair appraiser can tell you that few things rhyme better with “Ka-ching!” than Ming, that is, the Ming dynasty.


That’s why when an eagle-eyed thrifty saw a promising-looking piece of china among the other tchotchkes at a Connecticut yard sale, he didn’t even haggle over the price. Soon enough, it was, “Sold to the gentleman for $ 35!”

Even so, the unidentified buyer probably gasped when he learned that the delicate blue and white plate, which is just over six inches long and decorated with lotus, peony, chrysanthemum and pomegranate flowers, was one of the Half a dozen such Ming pieces have survived into the 21st century.

Sotheby’s confirmed that the exquisite 15th-century hoard likely originated during the Yongle reign (which rhymes with Mongolian, begins with a capital “M,” and stands for money). Emperor, around 1403-1424.

“The Yongle Emperor really promoted the artistic importance of porcelain,” said Angela McAteer, director of Sotheby’s Chinese art department. CNN. “He elevated it from being a utilitarian bowl, for example, to a true work of art.”

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With an estimated value of between $ 300,000 and $ 500,000, the beautiful lotus bowl will be auctioned during Sotheby’s “Highlights From Important Chinese Art” sale on March 17. “In all respects,” the catalog listing notes, “this delicate bowl is a quintessential Yongle product, made for the court, displaying the amazing combination of excellent material and paint.”

Adding to its mystique, from what McAteer told CNN, “[The bowl had an] incredibly smooth porcelain body ”and a“ really creamy silky enamel [which] it was never repeated in future reigns or dynasties. “

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Should the search boat hit the half million mark when it goes under the Sotheby’s figurative hammer, even taking into account the auction house cut, a price increase of up to 1,428,471% is a pretty nifty return on anyone’s $ 35 investment.

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