While the final bid is impressive to be sure, even more mind-blowing is how much the seller paid to acquire it: a New Yorker found the unusual treasure at a yard sale in 2007 and paid just $3 for it.
According to Southeby's spokeswoman Cecilia Leung, the purchaser displayed the bowl in their living room for a few years before curiosity inspired them to have it appraised.
They were -- excuse the pun -- bowled over by the value, estimated at $200,000 to $300,000.
The 'Ding' bowl, white, with a subtle floral pattern inside, molded leaves on the outside and measuring about 5 inches across, was described by the auctioneers as "rare and exceptionally beautiful."
The bowl was dated from the Northern Song Dynasty, in power from 960 to 1127, and only one other bowl of the same size and decoration is known to exist, held in the British Museum collection for the past 60 years.
London-based dealer Giuseppe Eskenazi emerged victorious from a battle among four bidders, ultimately paying $2,225,000 for the item.