Tag Sale Find Sells For $2.2 million

3 April 2013 - 12:00am

On March 20, in a packed salesroom at Sotheby’s a Chinese bowl purchased from a New York state tag sale for no more than $3 sold for $2.23 million. The Rare And Important ‘Ding’ Bowl Northern Song Dynasty measuring just 5 inches in diameter was sought by four bidders in the room and on telephones in the opening session of Sotheby’s Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art auction in New York. After a prolonged battle, the piece sold to the legendary London dealer Giuseppe Eskenazi for $2,225,000, many multiples of the $200/300,000 estimate.

The ‘Ding’ bowl was bought for a few dollars from a tag sale near the consignor’s home in the summer of 2007. At the time, the purchaser had no idea that they had happened upon a thousand year-old treasure. The bowl was displayed in the living room of the family’s home for several years, until they became curious about the value and contacted experts in the field of Chinese Art.

The bowl is a remarkable and exceptionally beautiful example of Song pottery, celebrated for its thin potting, fine near-white body, and ivory-colored glaze. The only known bowl of the same form, size and almost identical decoration has been in the collection of the British Museum in London for over 60 years having been bequeathed to the museum by the prominent British collector Henry J. Oppenheim in 1947. Song Ceramics are increasingly sought after by Chinese Art connoisseurs and this was just one of a number of strong prices achieved for examples of these works in the sale.