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Yard Sale Treasure

March 26, 2021

blue and white lotus shaped small bowlWith a bounty of treasures, galleries and auction houses presented works of art and collectibles during Asia Week New York, which took place from March 10th -20th.  One of the treasures offered was a rare Yongle period blue and white “floral’ bowl that someone with an astute eye purchased at a Connecticut yard sale for just $35.

Experts believe this small, 6-inch bowl was created during the Yongle Emperor’s reign (1403-1424), the third ruler of the Ming Dynasty.  It was a period noted for its distinctive porcelain techniques.  The bowl was made in a lotus shape and decorated with intricate patterns of lotus, peony, chrysanthemum, and pomegranate flowers. It is one of only seven known similar bowls to exist. The other six are in museums, such as the National Palace Museum of Taipei, the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and the National Museum of Iran in Tehran.

The small bowl had a sizeable estimate of $300 – 500K, which did not deter four bidders from fighting it out; the hammer fell at $580K ($721K w/p).  Wow, more than a sixteen-thousand times return on investment…someone had a great day!   So now that spring is here, and many are doing their spring cleanup, this may inspire you to really hunt for that rare find!