It’s every garage sale lover’s dream, finding some little overlooked treasure selling for mere pennies that is in fact worth thousands. Some of those in the know of gold make it a second job to visit garage shops checking out jewelry selling for chump-change that might in fact be fine jewelry. In this case, the buyers picked up a $3 dollar ceramic bowl at a garage sale in 2007 and kept it on their mantel for a few years, only to sell it at an auction. Turns out the saw-tooth designed bowl was made in the Northern Song Dynasty, between 960 and 1127, a time known for its technological and cultural advances, and that it was worth a tad more than $3. It sold for $2.2 million.
The 5 inch-diameter white bowl went to London dealer Giuseppe Eskenazi at Sotheby’s auction house in New York on Tuesday, as reported by NBC news – who spent much more than the estimated $200,000 to $300,000.
Though treasure hunting is a favorite activity of endless people who visit garage sales, satisfying that basic human instinct to try to get something for nothing, or to get rich fast, knowing where and when you’ll find a latent piece of the Song Dynasty would require archeological insight usually lacking in those with time to go garage saling. Alas for us, then! There might be plenty more million dollar bowls right under our noses!