Bowl found at CT yard sale valued at up to $500,000

Lawrence Kim
Марта 4, 2021

The rare porcelain bowl - one of only seven in existence - slipped the notice of a number of people when it was up for sale past year, but one (unidentified) antiques enthusiast near New Haven snapped it up, without haggling over the price, and sent photos to an expert to be evaluated. Yet to the everyday punter, it resembled nothing more than your run-of-the-mill cut of white porcelain adorned with cobalt blue floral paintings. "The style of painting, the shape of the bowl, even just the color of the blue is quite characteristic of that early, early 15th century period of porcelain".

The bowl is set to be auctioned in NY on 17 March by Sotheby's auction house, which describes the find in its listing as "exceptional and rare".

Soon, Angela McAteer and Hang Yin, the auction house's experts on Chinese ceramics and art, responded saying that they realized right away that there was something remarkable about this item.

Even though there were no scientific tests done, but the trained eyes and hands of specialists could identify the specialty of the bowl. The bowl was very smooth to the touch, its glaze was silky and the color and designs are distinctive of the period.

They confirmed it was from the 1400s when they were able to look at it in person.

The bowl came from the court of the Yongle Emperor, who ruled from 1403 to 1424 - a period of celebrated porcelain production.

But McAteer says experts are unlikely to ever know exactly how the bowl made its way from China to the junk sale. The interior is decorated with a central medallion enclosing a formalized quatrefoil motif encircled by a narrow band of alternating stylized florets formed of dots and leaves, and further wreathed by elaborate interlocking strapwork forming heart-shaped petals enclosing trefoils, the cavetto with eight dianthus blossoms borne on undulating leafy foliate scrolls, all below a row of pendent trefoils and a band of zigzag lines and clusters of circles around the rim. There are also intricate patterns at the top of both the outside and inside.

Most of the six-inch bowl's siblings are in museums. No others are in the United States.

Five of the bowls are in museums: two in Taiwan, two in London and one in Tehran. McAteer said it's possible it was passed down through generations of the same family who did not know how unique it was.

McAteer told the AP that she is always stunned that finds like the man's can still happen and that, for her, the excitement of discovered treasures never wanes.

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