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15th century bowl found at yard sale sells for $722,000

15th century bowl found at yard sale sells for $722,000
/ A rare white 'Floral' Bowl from the Ming Dynasty, Yongle Period is seen on display at Sotheby's on March 11, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

An extremely rare 15th-century porcelain bowl that was sold at a Connecticut yard sale for just $35 recently sold at an auction last week for nearly $722,000.

The small white bowl made in China is one of only seven such bowls from the Ming Dynasty-era known to exist in the world. It was among a variety of Chinese works of art sold by Sotheby's as part of its Asia Week events. According to the press release, fifteen people placed bids, but the names of the seller and buyer were not disclosed.

Although Sotheby's had estimated the value of the artifact at $300,000 to $500,000, the official purchase price, which included various fees, was $721,800.

“Today's result for this exceptionally rare floral bowl, dating to the 15th century, epitomizes the incredible, once in a lifetime discovery stories that we dream about as specialists in the Chinese Art field," Angela McAteer, head of Sotheby's Chinese Works of Art Department, said in a statement.

The bowl dates back to the early 1400s during the reign of the Yongle Emperor, the third ruler of the Ming Dynasty, and was made for the Yongle court.

McAteer said only six other such bowls are known to exist, and most of them are in museums. How the bowl made its way to the United States is still unknown.


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