‘Exceptional’ 15th-Century Ming Dynasty bowl unearthed at US yard saleon March 3, 2021 at 7:53 am

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The small bowl bought for $35 last year is set to be auctioned for between $300,000 and $500,000.

Image shows the rare bowl

image copyrightSotheby’s

As far as antiques hunting goes, this might just be as good as it gets.

A small bowl bought for just $35 (£25) at a market sale in the US state of Connecticut has turned out to be a rare 15th-Century Chinese artefact.

The white porcelain bowl was spotted by an unidentified antiques enthusiast near New Haven last year, and they quickly sought an expert evaluation.

The experts came back with good news, revealing that the bowl is thought to be worth between $300,000 and $500,000.

In fact, it is believed to be one of only seven such bowls in existence and most of the others are in museums.

The bowl is set to be auctioned in New York on 17 March by Sotheby’s auction house, which describes the find in its listing as “exceptional and rare”.

“It was immediately apparent to both of us that we were looking at something really very, very special,” Angela McAteer, an expert on Chinese ceramics at the auctioneer’s told the Associated Press news agency.

“The style of painting, the shape of the bowl, even just the colour of the blue is quite characteristic of that early, early 15th-Century period of porcelain,” she added.

The 6-inch (16cm) diameter bowl features cobalt blue floral paintings and an intricate design around the rim.

“All the characteristics and hallmarks are there that identify it as a product of the early Ming [Dynasty] period,” Ms McAteer said.

How exactly the bowl found itself being sold at a Connecticut outdoor sale remains a mystery. Some have suggested it may have been passed down through generations of the same family.

“It’s always quite astounding to think that it kind of still happens, that these treasures can be discovered,” Ms McAteer said. “It’s always really exciting for us as specialists when something we didn’t even know existed here appears seemingly out of nowhere.”

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