As returns on investment go, 1,657,143 percent is not bad.
A bowl that was bought at a yard sale in Connecticut for $35 has sold at auction for $722,000.
An unnamed antiques enthusiast stumbled across the small white bowl with blue flowers painted on it in a pile of rejected items at a sale in New Haven last year, and thought there may be something special about it.
After shelling out the $35, they sent information and photos to Sotheby's for an evaluation — and it turned out their gut feeling was on the money.
Experts confirmed the bowl dates back to the 1400s during the reign of Yongle Emperor, the third ruler of the Ming Dynasty — and is one of only seven in existence.
The rest are in museums around the world — none of which are in the US.
"It was immediately apparent to both of us that we were looking at something really very, very special," Angela McAteer, head of Sotheby's Chinese Works of Art Department, said. "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."
Sotheby's had evaluated the artifact at between $300,000 and $500,000, before it went under the hammer among several other Chinese artworks as part of the auction house's Asia Week event on Wednesday.
When bidding opened, interest was immediate: Opening at $200,000, 14 more bids quickly piled in until the final anonymous bidder, over the phone, offered $580,000. With purchase fees included, the final price was $721,800.
"Today's result for this exceptionally rare floral bowl, dating to the 15th century, epitomizes the incredible, once in a lifetime discovery stories that we dream about as specialists in the Chinese Art field," McAteer said in a statement, per NBC.
Nobody knows how the bowl ended up at a yard sale in Connecticut. According to McAteer, it was likely handed down from generation to generation by a family who had no clue of its worth.