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A Little Bowl Worth What?

April 15, 2021
Courtesy of Sotheby’s

A little bowl at a yard sale in the state of Connecticut was sold for thirty-five dollars. Not bad, given that it’s a delicate bowl with beautiful art on it. But the buyer suspected that the bowl was more than just a yard-sale bargain and sent photos of it to auctioneers, who verified it as one of seven valuable bowls from the Ming Dynasty in China, and dates back to the early 1400s! While nobody knows how the bowl made its way to a yard sale—perhaps it was handed down by generations before ending up there—it was valued at more than $500,000! Some of the bowls from this era could’ve had more than seventy craftsmen working on them before completion, so it’s no wonder that the other bowls of this type are currently in museums around the world. When the bowl was finally auctioned off in March, it was sold for over $700,000!

Wondering if people often find treasures at yard and garage sales? Here are some things that have been found at such locations in the past few decades!

-A Jackson Pollock painting was found in an attic in Arizona and is now worth more than $5 million.

-A man found an old record at a yard sale in 2002 and purchased it for seventy-five cents. Turns out it was an album from a band called Velvet Underground and was eventually sold for $25,000.

-A woman in London bought a large ring at a garage sale, presuming it to be a fake. Imagine her surprise when the giant diamond turned out to be real, and it was auctioned at $850,000!