bowlI don't know about you, but over the years, I've picked up plenty of odds and ends at garage sales (which are never really held in garages, when you think about it -- usually they're more like lawn/driveway/front stoop sales). And so I see no reason why what happened to an unidentified bargain-hunting family in New York couldn't have happened to me -- maybe there's still hope! Sure, my odds of getting struck by lightning while being attacked by a shark are probably better, but a girl can dream!

Anyway. Here's the story: The aforementioned family was at a garage sale one day when somebody (maybe the mom?) spotted a simple but elegant glass bowl. Hmm. There were a few nicks and scratches here and there, maybe a tiny crack or two, but it was pretty and simple and she'd been looking for something to put on the mantelpiece.

So the family forked over "no more than" $3 and took the bowl home. It wasn't until several years later that they discovered the truth about their new knick-knack ... That bowl was old! OLD, like really old, and I don't mean last season's flip-flops old, I mean 1,000 years old! And from China. A "Ding" bowl dating back to the Northern Song Dynasty, to be exact.

I'm not exactly sure how the family figured out their bowl was something a lot more special than they'd originally thought, but they did. And promptly consulted the experts at Sotheby's. Aaaaaand the bowl just sold for more $2.2 million at auction on Tuesday.

AND if you'll excuse me, I'm off to find a garage sale.

Have you ever found anything at a garage sale that ended up being worth a lot more than you expected?

 

Image via Jon Callas/Flickr