yard sale find of old bowl worth half-a-million dollars!

Estimated reading time is 2 minutes.

YOU SHOULD HAVE HEARD ABOUT the yard sale find that is all over the internet by now. A person paid the $35 asking price for a porcelain bowl at a yard sale in Connecticut. The buyer was an “antique enthusiast” who thought the old bowl could be something special, meaning the buyer probably had considerable experience in buying and selling such things.

The buyer emailed information and photos to Sotheby’s asking for an evaluation. The auction house’s experts on Chinese ceramics and art confirmed that the bowl was a 15th-century artifact, one of only seven such bowls known to exist in the world. They valued it at between $300,000 and $500,000.

The buyer has agreed to allow Sotheby’s to sell the bowl and it will be up for auction on March 17, 2021, as part of Sotheby’s Auction of Important Chinese Art.

All of this information can be readily found on the internet by typing something like “$35 Chinese bowl yard sale” in your browser.

Old Bowl: photo of the 15th-century Chinese bowl that could be worth $500,000.

Another old bowl for sale

And remarkable finds at yard/garage/estate sales do happen. But if you are not a regular yardsaler—meaning someone who regularly attends such sales as a buyer—but find yourself inspired by this story to consider becoming a yardsaler, know this:

Most of the $35 bowls that you will find on a Saturday morning at a sale like this were purchased by the seller at a local Walmart or Target for $5.99 the day before!

Most people know that the real estate mantra is “Location! Location! Location!” Most people need to know that the yard sale mantra should be “Buyer beware: All sales are final.”

 Old Bowl: photo of a typical yard sale.

FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page accompanied the article “Yard Sale Raises Money For Caleb & Friends” on the Chez Sven blog. Sights like this can be seen in yards across the country although most such sales are held in Spring and Summer when the weather allows for casual outdoor browsing.

Finally, in case you’re pondering my bonafides: I have done countless yard sales in several states over the past fifty years, mostly in pursuit of old records.


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