Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bowl buy

Pretty, isn't it? It was being used as a doorstop in a shop in Bradford, U.K., when it caught the eye of British geologist Hugh Lambert in the 1970s. He acquired it for a few pounds and many years later gave it to his grandson Matthew Collison in exchange for some work. "A few years ago, he gave the urn to me for helping him with his gardening. I didn't want paying, but he said I could have the urn, which I moved into my own house, when I got one. I was absolutely stunned when I was told that it was nearly 1,000 years old. I am going to sell it, and I think we will have a big family holiday." That was Collison's reaction when he found out last year that the little bowl was worth up to £15,000 ($22,600). Imagine his surprise when he learned that Sotheby's appraisal revealed it to be a rare Ding bowl from China's Song Dynasty (960–1279 A.D.) and was expected to fetch nearly £200,000 ($300,000). Now consider his reaction when he learned that a bidding war at the March 19th auction resulted in a sale price of $2,225,000 (£1,471,000)! Believe it or not, that story was outdone earlier this month when 2 investors purchased an artist's cottage on Long Island, New York, and learned that the paintings in the attic and garage - for which they paid an extra $2,500 - have been appraised for $30 million (£19.7 million)!

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