A rare, century, unique Chinese bowl dating to the Yongle period in the 15th century, will be auctioned for the first time since its surprising discovery at a yard sale near New Haven, Connecticut, where it was bought for $35. According to Sotheby's, the bowl is expected to fetch up to $300,000 - $500,000.
A merchant noticed the small attractive bowl in a yard sale in Connecticut. Fascinated by the bowl's sophisticated and astonishing design, the merchant bought it for $35, the demanded price at the time. Then, he consulted experts at Sotheby's to assess the piece's historic value, where they identified it as a rare, unique antiquity.
Only six companion pieces of this bowl have been found around the world and all of those are displayed at some of the world-famous museums including one at the Victoria & Albert Museum, one at the British Museum, two at the National Palace Museum in Taipei, and one at the National Museum of Iran in Tehran.
The artifact was found to have originated from the court of the Yongle Emperor. It is made of a mixture of exquisite materials and bright colors in a beautiful and unfamiliar design inspired by the arts that characterized that period in China.
The bowl is set to be auctioned at Sotheby's Auction House, in New York, along with some precious Chinese memorabilia on March 17.