Who knows what you may find when rummaging through drawers? Auctioneers looking through a country house in rural southeast Scotland recognized a rare 16th-century dish tucked away in a drawer as a valuable find. Little did they know how valuable! The rare dish sold for $1.7 million, significantly above the $109,000 to $163,000 estimate. Images on the dish depict the biblical story of Samson and Delilah. The 11-inch plate is believed to have been made by Nicola da Urbino around 1520–1523. The Italian earthenware was sold to an anonymous buyer during the online auction. The dish was one of more than 400 items listed as part of the contents of Lowood House. Other items in the Lyon & Turnbull auction included pictures, furniture, books, silver and works of art. The dish is in the istoriato style of pottery decoration that was popular in the 16th century in which paintings were applied directly to majolica ware.
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How would you know that this is a rare find, besides being knowledgeable in this type item? Was there a mark or anything you would see, on the underside of this dish?
I’m always baffled, that the pros, can look at an item without any markings and know that it is rare, special, or worth a lot.