London, June 9 (IANS) People of the art world are stunned after a little Chinese bowl was sold for 1.6 million pounds (around $2.5 million) during a British auction. It had been originally bought for just 65 pounds ($100)!
The seemingly unremarkable 10″ bowl was identified as rare Ming dynasty porcelain from the 15th century, Daily Express reported.
It was originally purchased by collectors — Otto and Gertrude Harriman — after the World War II when 65 pounds were equivalent of present day’s 1,600 pounds.
The family of a late couple decided to sell it at auction, hoping to generate 20,000 pounds. But Chinese bidders went into a frenzy over the blue and white piece, as it eventually sold for 84 times the estimate.
It would have been sold for even more had the bowl’s rim not been chipped.
The bowl, decorated with dragon designs on it, would have been used in dice games and dates from the time of Emperor Xuande, who ruled between 1425 and 1435.
It was sold by Bainbridge’s auction house in north-west London, the same saleroom that sold a Chinese vase in 2010 for 59 million pounds.
Peter Bainbridge, who runs the saleroom, said: “This bowl was used for games, but you wouldn’t have shaken it, you would have just rolled the dice with it. It is exceptionally rare and would have been more valuable had there not been some damage.
“It came from a collection that was passed down from the Harrimans and has been on display at Nottingham museum.”
Besides the bowl, a simple saucer estimated at 600 pounds went under the hammer for 75,000 pounds. A second bowl, also from the Ming dynasty, sold for 850,000 pounds though it was hoped to fetch 60,000 pounds.