A small bowl of Chinese porcelain, bought for 35 dollars at a garage sale in Connecticut, in the northeast of the United States, is going to be put under hammer at Sotheby’s for an estimated value between 300,000 and 500,000 dollars.
The lucky “discoverer”, whose name has not been revealed, had the bowl with delicate floral motifs appraised by the auction house, first by sending photos, then by bringing the object itself. : it turns out that it dates from the 15th century and that it was painted for the court of Emperor Yongle, third emperor of the Ming dynasty.
Its “very distinctive” shape and floral pattern place it in a category of extremely rare bowls – only six other comparable bowls have been identified in the world, Angela McAteer, head of Chinese arts at Sotheby’s in New York, told AFP.
Of those six, five are in museums – two in Taipei, two in London, one in Tehran. The sixth was “last seen on the market in 2007,” she says.
Under these conditions, the sale, scheduled for March 17, should interest both private collectors and institutions, she said.
As for how the bowl traveled from China to Connecticut through the centuries, we’ll probably never know, she says.
Many pieces of Chinese art arrived in Western homes in the 19th century, and were then passed down from generation to generation, without any particular documentation.