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How Much Did The Thousand-Year-Old Chinese Bowl Sell for at an Auction?

We’ve all heard the saying, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. But did you know that someone’s old porcelain bowl gave another one a rather large fortune?

A New Yorker bought a small Chinese bowl in a tag sale for $3. A few years later, the person had it examined only to find out it was a 1,000-year-old porcelain bowl from the Northern Song Dynasty. It was auctioned for more than $2.25 million in 2013.

The Song Dynasty Bowl

In 2007, a New Yorker visited a tag sale and left with an old Chinese porcelain bowl bought for only $3. It was a small bowl, about 5 inches in diameter, and it was white with a bluish glaze. The person who bought it had it displayed in the living room for several years. (Source: CBS News)

For some reason, the owner became curious about the bowl’s history and had it examined. The owner was shocked to learn more about the small bowl sitting in his living room. Apparently, it was a 1,000-year-old bowl originally designed to wash brushes and was one of only four pieces today. (Source: The Guardian)

Experts determined that the porcelain bowl came from the Northern Song Dynasty. The small piece was dated to have been created within 960 to 1127. It was also said that it came from the imperial court.

This dynasty was considered the most brilliant era in later imperial Chinese history. It was a time of significant social and economic change where central bureaucracy took over the traditional hereditary aristocratic order. (Source: Met Museum)

The Song dynasty was also known for the decorative art found in their ceramic pieces. The porcelain during this era is considered extremely rare. Invaders destroyed most of its artifacts during the Tartar invasion in 1127. (Source: Visual Arts Cork)

In 2013, the bowl was included in the opening session of Sotheby’s fine Chinese ceramics and works of the art auction. The presale estimate of the said piece was around $200,000 to $300,000. A London dealer ultimately purchased it for $2.25 million. (Source: CBS News)

The bowl found its way to Sotheby’s auction again in 2017, this time breaking the world auction record for any Chinese ceramic when it sold for a whopping $37.7 million. (Source: The Guardian)

Other Rare Chinese Porcelain

Besides the rare Northern Song bowl, other Chinese porcelain has been reported to be auctioned at exorbitant prices.

Qing Dynasty Bowl

In 2018, an extremely rare bowl traced back to the Chinese emperor Kangxi was auctioned by Sotheby’s for $30.4 million. The emperor created the bowl by an imperial workshop within Beijing’s Forbidden City. It is just under six inches in diameter and is decorated with falangcai, painted enamels combining Chinese and Western techniques brought by the Jesuits at the time. (Source: Business Standard)

Ming Dynasty Wine Cup

In 2014, a Ming Dynasty wine cup made during the reign of the Chenghua Emperor sold for $36 million. The cup was dated to have been created between the years 1465 to 1487 and is believed to be one out of only nineteen cups ever made. The wine-cup is fondly called the chicken cup due to its miniature paintings of roosters and hens around it. It was sold to Liu Yiqian, founder of the Long Museum in Shanghai. (Source: Time)

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