FOUND > Garage Sale 'Buddha' Worth $100,000

Bought on Second-Day of Sale for $100

Rare 15th century Buddha found at garage sale.

March 9, 2018
By Ruthie Bowles, Contributing Author for What Sells Best News

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI - Antiques Roadshow reports that a 15th-century Bronze Buddha Statue, purchased for approximately $100 at a garage sale, is estimated to be worth $100,000 to $125,000.

FOUND ON SECOND-DAY OF SALE

A guest on the Antiques Roadshow in St. Louis brought in a lovely gilt bronze statue that appeared to be of Far East origin. She recalls “I almost didn't have a chance to acquire it, because I was having 15 people for lunch.” Despite her demanding social obligation, she managed to rush to the garage sale of a well-known local to snag the small statue.

Upon hearing her story the Antiques Roadshow appraiser, Robert Waterhouse of PKR Antiques and Fine Art, expressed surprise that the dealers managed to miss the statue, despite having combed through the available items for two days. He remarked on the “beautiful drapery” of the statue’s robes, and that the statue exhibits features noted in early bodhisattva art, like the slender waist.

Garage Sale Treasures Worth Millions (2015)

Most notably in regards to dating the statue, Waterhouse said “Royal Ease [the statue’s position] is really a characteristic of very early Buddhist art. The dating would be approximately early 15th century, or early Ming Dynasty.” The quality of the statue shows that it was likely commissioned from a Chinese imperial workshop, but without the inscription that was on the now missing base, he can’t be sure.

Despite a missing hand and arm, Waterhouse tells the unbelieving guest that her statue is worth $100,000 to $125,000 conservatively, making her quick garage sale run 20 years ago all the more worth it.

WHY IT’S RARE

President Xi Jinping places protecting and preserving China’s heritage and culture near the top of his list of priorities. Thanks to China’s 30-year economic growth, there are many native wealthy collectors competing for a chance to retake symbols of their heritage.

COMPARABLE FINDS

While the financial gain ranks high among garage sale treasures we’ve tracked. The story is most certainly priceless.

Minute details can make a huge difference in the price of antique items. If you think you have found something, head over to our free appraisals page and check with the experts!

FUTURE PLANS FOR THE PAINTING

Reportedly, there are no plans to sell the painting and it's going to be put on display in the Hoyt Sherman Art Gallery.

DUTCH GOLDEN AGE PRICES

To monitor the real-time price strength of more common art items from the Dutch Golden Age. Keep an eye on the highest bid items in the art category, on eBay (below). To research the sold prices for rare or common art, click here.

 


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