This post has been corrected. See below for details.
An ancient Chinese bowl that dates from the Northern Song dynasty sold for $2.2 million on Tuesday at a Sotheby’s auction in New York. What makes the sale particularly noteworthy is that the sellers had reportedly purchased the bowl for just $3.
The bowl was part of a Sotheby’s auction of Chinese ceramics and other works of art. The sellers were a New York family who had purchased the bowl in 2007 at a garage sale for a mere $3, according to reports. The BBC News said that the buyer was London dealer Giuseppe Eskenazi. The name of the New York family that sold the item hasn’t been publicized.
Sotheby’s had estimated that the bowl would sell for $200,000 to $300,000. The bowl, which measures about five inches in diameter, features carvings on the interior and exterior and has an ivory-colored glaze.
The auction house said that the bowl is an example of the highly prized “Ding” ware, which is noted for its thin potting and ivory color.
China’s Northern Song Dynasty ruled from 960 to 1127. Sotheby’s said that only one other bowl of the same form, size and almost identical decoration is known and that it is located in the British Museum in London.
[For the record, March 20, 2013, 3:00 p.m.: A previous version of this post misspelled Giuseppe Eskenazi’s first name as Guiseppe.]