white bowl
Cody Medina
Cody Medina
March 14, 2024 ·  4 min read

Bought for $3 at yard sale, and sold for $2.2 million

If you’re somebody who loves a good bargain as well as going to yard sales, then you might already have an idea of some of the cool treasures that you can find if you know what you’re looking for and what you’re looking at. A lot of the time, people don’t take a second glance at the bric-a-brac they bought from the yard sales. They might even have a $2.2 million bowl and not even realize it!

Going to yard sales could prove to be one of the most lucrative endeavors you could ever do. The reason why is that there may be certain items of value hidden in plain sight! To give you an idea as to what kind of treasures you may find, this seemingly simplistic bowl sold for a grand sum. Originally, this very rare Chinese bowl was bought from a yard sale that was worth only $3. Later on, this very same bowl was sold at an auction for $2.2 million after a bidding war between four individuals. (1)

Read: Woman Buys Ring For $13, Finds Out It’s Actually Worth $957K

The Story Of The Rare Ding Bowl

Cecilia Leung of Sotheby’s obtained this $2.2 million bowl while attending a tag sale from a consignor’s home that was nearby. Leung says that the previous owner had used the bowl as a decorative table piece in their living room for several years before deciding to assess it. Sotheby’s presale estimated that the bowl could be sold between $200,000 and $300,000.

This item is known as a “Ding Bowl” and is considered to be an incredible example of Northern Song Dynasty Pottery. Sotheby’s states that this kind of pottery is remarkable and has exceptional beauty. The only other bowl that is known to resemble anything like this one resides in the collection of the British Museum for over the past 60 years. This then lead to the auction war for the bowl which was sold to a London dealer, known as Giussepe Eskenazi, for $2,225,000. (2)

Read: The IRS Will Tax The Man Who Found A 9-Carat Diamond

Why Was The $2.2 Million Bowl So Important?

Eskenazi’s website displays all of the other amazing Chinese artifacts that he has collected over the years. A lot of the ancient pottery on his page look like items that you’d find at a yard sale. Even more secret $2.2 million bowls to find.

The sad reality about heirlooms and artifacts like these is that a lot of the history is lost on them. Pieces like this go underappreciated for a long time. Until someone with a trained eye recognizes the item they are looking at. Some keep it a secret forever. (3)

However, there are obviously a variety of treasure hunters out there, and not all of them are seeking to preserve the history of items like the Eskenazi.

Other $2.2 Million Making Methods

Some may want to simply cash in on the money and nothing else. This isn’t to say this isn’t respectable. Mostly it just means that a lot of historic items like this $2.2 million bowl go missing for years. Sometimes lost forever!

Especially with the handful of TV shows that promote people who buy used up storage units just to see if there’s anything valuable inside. Sometimes they hit big money or sometimes nothing at all. Most of what treasure hunting consists of is patience, luck, and time. If you’re willing to go the extra mile to research potentially valuable products, then you might as well turn it into a hobby! Training your eyes to know what is and what isn’t valuable is actually a very good trait to have.

It’s also important that you know who you’re talking to. So be sure not to believe in the wrong information about any certain items you might have found. There are just as many swindlers than there are treasure hunters.

You could even go as far the internet with this same concept with websites such as eBay, Etsy, and other platforms that allow people to sell vintage goods. There may be an untapped market that people are unknowingly designing the more they sell older items.

Some video game consoles, action figures, dolls, toys, clothes, and practically just about anything you can think of that was made a long time ago, probably has some kind of significant value to it now.

All you have to do is dedicate a little time to researching these items and start selling!

Keep Looking For Your $2.2 Million Bowl!

This incredible story alone proves how you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, literally! The book, or a $2.2 million bowl, in this case, might be worth a lot of money that secretly no one knows about.

You might even see some people at yard sales constantly checking their smartphones while they browse. It could be a sign that they are researching for specific items. There are treasure hunters everywhere you look. You just have to be sure you’re going to be the first one who snatches up the prize!

Keep reading: There Are Dimes In Circulation Worth $1.9 Million And Here’s How To Spot Them


  1. https://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/20/business/sothebys-china-bowl/index.html
  2. https://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2013/chinese-works-of-art-n08974/lot.94.html
  3. https://www.eskenazi.co.uk/en-gb/exhibitions/principal-wares-of-the-song-period-from-a-private/green-grey-glazed-stoneware-dish