A cracked teapot made in South Carolina before the Revolutionary War and bought by an eagle-eyed internet bidder for $20
2 years ago stunned the auction world days ago by selling in England for an astounding $806,000, media outlets report.
The winning bid was made by Roderick Jellicoe, a London dealer, who was acting on behalf of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, said a press release.
The teapot – which is 3½ inches high and 5 inches across – is missing its lid and has an obvious repair for a cracked handle.
Experts say it’s worth all the fuss, because the pot is an important and previously unrecorded piece attributed to the country’s first known porcelain manufacturer, John Bartlam, who built his first factory in Cain Hoy, South Carolina in the 1760s. It marks the birth of American porcelain, reported the UK Telegraph.
“Just before the Revolutionary War, there was a non-importation agreement in place because the colonies didn’t want to import anything from England,” Jellicoe told ArtNet.com. “And, of course, if they could make their own porcelain, they didn’t need to import it from England, so it was a way of being independent from the British.”