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$35 Yard Sale Find Turns Out to be Worth $500,000!

a man holding a garage sale sign with a box of items isolated on white.

$35 Yard Sale Find Turns Out to be Worth $500K!

Spring is Garage Sale Season and here in the Texas Panhandle, we love our yard sales!  While spending $35 at a yard sale for a small porcelain bowl might not seem like a good investment, it turned out to be the deal of a lifetime for a Connecticut resident.  The bowl turned out to be a 15th Century Chinese artifact!  Only seven are known to exist, says Angela McAteer, an expert on Chinese art with Sotheby’s Auction House. It’s valued at somewhere between $300,000 and $500,000, she says.

“It was immediately apparent to both of us that we were looking at something really very, very special,” says McAteer, who learned of the find after the unidentified buyer emailed Sotheby’s.

“The style of painting, the shape of the bowl, even just the color of the blue is quite characteristic of that early, early 15th century period of porcelain.” Despite the artifact’s historical significance, its owner has no intention of hanging onto the bowl. It’s hitting the Sotheby’s auction block on March 17th, McAteer says. Odds are it will fetch a lot more than $35. I once bought a rare album at a yard sale for $2.50 that turned about to be worth a couple hundred bucks.  But that’s pretty far from half a million!

What’s the best deal you’ve gotten at a yard or garage sale?


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