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March 30, 2013

How is it that this bowl — purchased for $3 at a yard sale in 2007 — just sold for $2.2 million?

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If you have to ask you obviously missed the first lecture in this series, whose title was "Things are worth precisely what someone is willing to pay for them."

Not a penny more — nor a penny less.

If you think gold or diamonds or Ferraris have some sort of intrinsic value, you've swallowed far too much Kool-Aid over the years.

Out in the desert dying of thirst?

Which would you find more valuable: an ounce of gold or a glass of water?

I rest my case.

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Wrote Julie Lasky to open a March 27 New York Times Home section front page story, "Last week, a media frenzy erupted when a small white ceramic bowl [above and below] carved with a pattern of lotus blossoms sold for more than $2.2 million at auction in New York. That price, which included the buyer's premium, was 10 times what the auction house, Sotheby's, expected the bowl to fetch, and more than 700,000 times what the sellers had paid for it."

"The consignors, whom Sotheby's identified only as a family from New York State, had bought the bowl for a few dollars at a yard sale in 2007. It was displayed in their living room until they consulted Asian art experts and discovered that it was a thousand-year-old artifact from the Northern Song dynasty in China, an exquisite specimen of pale, thin-walled Ding pottery."

"If it's curious that this Chinese bowl escaped notice for so long, it's an equal wonder that it finally came to light. For all of the object's obvious beauty, nothing signaled its age or rarity to the untutored eye."

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The bowl is 5.4" in diameter.

March 30, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Permalink


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But hit's purty, too.

Posted by: Becs | Mar 30, 2013 9:05:32 PM

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