March 20, 2013

Bowl bought for $3 at a garage sale is sold for $2.2 million.

It was a Ding bowl from the Northern Song dynasty — a thousand years old.
Sotheby’s would not identify the lucky bowl sellers, only to say that they were a family from somewhere in New York state.
I can see why they don't want to be known. It's best that the people who sold it to them never realize what happened.

33 comments:

sydney said...

I wonder how they came to take it to Southeby's? It looks like a dime store candy bowl from the 1960's.

bagoh20 said...

That and the simple fact that it's a net disadvantage when people know you have money, especially new money.

Meade said...

"It's best that the people who sold it to them never realize what happened."

Plus, I'd prefer that every Tom, Dick, and hairy blog reader doesn't know I just came into 2.2 mil., thank you.

Meade said...

Especially hairy old bagoh "I'll gladly pay you back Tuesday" 20.

bagoh20 said...

Hey, I'm the one who sold it for $3, and I new what it was worth. That's how rich and awesome I am.

Meade said...

You were rich. Now you're just awesome.

edutcher said...

Antiques Road Show on steroids.

Nomennovum said...

Like winning the lottery, this will never happen to me. I don't buy lottery tickets and I don't go to garage sales.

bagoh20 said...

And a damned good spellar too.

bagoh20 said...

I would throw that thing out if I had it. I mean a thousand years? That bowl is worn out, and who knows what's been in it.

Rabel said...

I'm not buying the garage sale story.

Rabel said...

But if I was gonna purchase a 2 million dollar bowl, I would definitely go through the Althouse Amazon portal.

Meade said...

Gold star for Rabel!

bagoh20 said...

I wonder if it was at one time in a garage sale in China 1000 years ago. It was someone's junk then, and nobody bought it, until some white guy showed up centuries later. Like those Roman stones in the museum that they recently determined were used to wipe Roman ass. One man's toilet rock is another's priceless artifact. Those rocks should be on a motivational poster that says "Salesmanship".

elkh1 said...

sydney said...
"I wonder how they came to take it to Southeby's? It looks like a dime store candy bowl from the 1960's."

The dime store bowl would have a faint mark, like those Made in China thing, in classical Chinese, would be so faint and nondescript that only those who knew would recognize it. Ergo, the buyer must be a collector.

AprilApple said...

Unless they see the bowl on the news tonight.

Rabel said...

Hey, Meade. I'm trying to put an Althouse Amazon shortcut on my desktop. I did "copy shortcut" on the "shop Amazon" link and then "past shortcut" on my desktop.

Then, just now, I bought a copy of Churchill's Malakand Field Force using the desktop shortcut. The question is, did the shortcut hold the connection to the blog?

Nomennovum said...

I'm not buying the garage sale story. - Rabel

Provenance is more than just a place in France.

sane_voter said...

If it was me I would probably give the garage sale sellers some money, if I knew that it wouldn't open me up to some kind of lawsuit from same said sellers. Cause I think it's bad karma to have taken them to the cleaners, even if by accident.

sane_voter said...

$50,000 ought to cover it.

chickelit said...

This sounds like the kind of story you'd find if you sat around an googled "garage" 100 times per day.

Lipperman said...

Where would a guy go to find out how much his China bowl might be worth?

Craig Landon said...

Makes the storage locker crazies seem a little less crazy.

Synova said...

I bought a $20 bowl at a garage sale for $3. It was a large vintage (since when is it "vintage" instead of "antique?") pyrex bowl.

It was a garage sale price for a garage sale bowl, even if they're trendy now. I didn't go to the lady and insist I pay her more.

However, I have done that "in game" when I bought something super cheap I knew was worth plat, resold it and then sent the original seller half the money I made.

Craig Landon said...

And of course the obligatory 'They bought it for a Song'.

Meade said...

@Rabel: If they give me a report, I'll tell you tomorrow.

William said...

They bought it for a song and sold it for a Song.

Jane said...

Ding! Ding! We have a winner.

pj (lowercase) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ed said...

That is one seriously ugly bowl.

Rusty said...

Nomennovum said...
Like winning the lottery, this will never happen to me. I don't buy lottery tickets and I don't go to garage sales.

When my uncle sold his house He told me I could have all of his step fathers wood working tools. This stuff hadn't been touched in 60 or 70 years so I packed it all up and took it home. 20 years later I decide to put the stuff on eBay. The Morris wood plane sold for 2,500 bucks.
Who knew?

Meade said...

@Rabel: sorry, nothing in the report showing Churchill's Malakand Field Force. Maybe it will show up tomorrow.

Deb said...

:"(I have a policy if/when I come into chunks of money to not spend nor invest it for a period of time, until I get used to it.)"

does this happen to you often? Please share.