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Rare 15th century bowl was purchased at a yard sale for $35 and sold at more than $721,000. Photo courtesy of CNN

I love these fabulous finds stories. I learned about this on CNN, and they provided the following information online: “An exceptionally rare 15th-century Chinese antique that wound up at a yard sale has sold for $721,800 at auction by Sotheby’s, exceeding its estimated sale price of half a million dollars. Bought for just $35 near New Haven, Connecticut, last year, the small blue-and-white floral bowl is now worth nearly 29,000 times that price. It features motifs of lotus, peony, chrysanthemum and pomegranate blossoms, and was originally commissioned by China’s imperial court during the Ming dynasty. While Sotheby’s is not disclosing the seller’s identity, the head of its Chinese art department, Angela McAteer, revealed in a phone interview ahead of the sale that the man who found the bowl at the yard sale “didn’t haggle over the $35 asking price.”

That’s wonderful news for antique lovers and collectors. And I got a chuckle over the fact that the buyer didn’t dicker about the original yard sale price! In all my years of collecting I have seen lots of Chinese bowls in blue and white colors, similar to the bowl recently sold. Unfortunately, I haven’t purchased any of them but do have a few Asian pieces, which I’m sure aren’t worth in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. More’s the pity, but I’ll keep looking for that treasure!

In another upcoming auction from Leland’s a sports memorabilia auction house in Mattawan, New Jersey, is auctioning off a well-documented lock of George Washington’s hair. It is estimated to bring $1,700, but I am predicting it will sell for much more. The lock of hair is quite small and some information reports it was likely cut by his barber near or at the time he died. Washington did in fact pass away in 1799 at the age of 67 at his Mount Vernon estate. It will be interesting to see what the final price will be for this item from the “Father of our Country.”

Here’s some information on upcoming auctions that were sent to me via e-mail and other sources:

An online-only Premier Spring Estate Auction is Tuesday, April 6th, at 11 am Eastern Time by Gallery 63 in Atlanta. Headlining the sale is a rare, museum-quality, 394-pound meteorite, by far the largest specimen of its kind for sale in the world and an exceptional space collectible. It comes with a custom-built iron stand, 74 inches tall, and has an estimate of $100,000-$200,000. The 343-lot catalog also features fine estate jewelry and watches from prominent estates and collections. Internet bidding will be provided by, and, as well as the Gallery 63 website ( Additional information about this auction, is with Paul or Elijah Brown at (404) 600-3445; or, you can email them at

A 432-lot Fine Estates Collection auction is Saturday, April 10th, at 10 am Eastern Time, by Neue Auctions, based in Beachwood, Ohio, outside of Cleveland. The online-only sale features items from the homes of celebrated interior designers, plus personal collections of traditional furnishings and European antiques. Internet bidding provided by, and Additional information is with Cynthia Maciejewski at (216) 245-6707; or, email her at

An online-only auction of rare manuscripts, autographs and books scheduled for Wednesday, April 14th, by University Archives, starting promptly at 10:30 am Eastern time. Leading the 356-lot auction will be an exquisite portrait miniature of Thomas Jefferson along with two locks of hair (one of them Jefferson’s); and a letter and photograph signed by Albert Einstein. Internet bidding will be via,, and the revamped University Archives website. If you need additional information about this auction, you may call John Reznikoff at (203) 454-0111; or, you can email him at

Here is some news from Swann Galleries. The experts at Swann are seeking submissions for a June 2021 auction and welcome pieces that showcase storytelling in all its forms.

What are buyers seeking now? — Works desired today feature iconic and powerful imagery on universal themes, such as childhood, sports, romance, family, humor, and history. There is strong interest in children’s literature, American and Golden Age, sci-fi and fantasy, advertising, theater and fashion, comics, cartoons, graphic novels, and propaganda. Collectors and institutions are especially interested in works by underrepresented and overlooked communities: Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Queer, Trans and gender-oppressed artists.

What types of illustration do we handle? — Broadly speaking, we seek original artwork or designs created in all media, usually canvas, paper or board. Unlike fine art, these were intended to be issued in books or periodicals, used in advertisements, or created for fashion, theater, or industry. For more information contact Swann Galleries at 104 East 25th Street New York, NY 10010 • (212) 254-4710 or online at

CORRECTION: In our March 23, 2021 issue on page 14, Mark Roeder’s byline was omitted. Collectors Journal regrets the error. Mark’s Part Two of “Finding Antiques” is featured in this issue, and the article offers plenty of good tips and ideas for collectors, buyers and sellers.

Have a great couple of weeks shopping and browsing. Our next issue is April 20. We’d also love to hear from readers with unusual collections; young collectors; mystery items; Auction Action news; club and convention news; or any additional antiques-related matters. Reach us at;; or via telephone at (319) 472-4763.