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Bowls

The extended chronology of ceramic bowls weaves a narrative of artistic innovation and response to demand that spans millennia. Collecting ceramic bowls means buying into this rich history, from sturdy stoneware to precious porcelain.

Though the history of the bowl can be traced back to the world's earliest cultures, it was not until around 1500 B.C. that the first examples of stoneware, made from finer clay than its earthenware predecessors, began to be produced. Developed nearly simultaneously in India’s Indus valley civilizations and in the provinces of China’s Shang Dynasty, the tradition of stoneware continued to develop, reaching its peak of perfection among German potters in the mid-1200s.

From the springboard of stoneware, potters and ceramists around the globe experimented with and perfected a wide variety of porcelain types and glazing treatments. Today, an impressive array of antique and vintage bowls are available at auction.


Quick Facts

  • Medieval innovators discovered that adding sand to their clay increased its resilience to heat. As a result, later potters developed grog, a mash made from pot shards added to clay for a similar purpose
  • One of the world’s priciest antique ceramic bowls is the "Chicken Cup," dating to the 15th-century reign of Chinese Emperor Chenghua. It is so named for the chickens that appear in its decoration. The diminutive bowl, with a diameter of just of 3 inches, sold at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong in 2014 for $36,300,000
  • The medium of porcelain also emerged during China’s Shang Dynasty. Though developed in China, it gets its name from the Italian word "porcellana," or "cowrie shell," for its typical translucent, milky finish after firing

Recommended Items at Auction

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19th Century French Jacob Petit Porcelain Centerpiece
Dec 06, 12:00 PM EST
19th Century French Jacob Petit Porcelain Centerpiece
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $100- $1,000
$1004 Bids
Porzellanfußschale
Dec 04, 10:00 AM CET
Porzellanfußschale
by Auktionshaus Rotherbaum OHG
Est: €0- €0
€803 Bids
RARE Fostoria Large Foot Fruit Bowl Compote Queen
Dec 04, 9:00 AM MST
RARE Fostoria Large Foot Fruit Bowl Compote Queen
by R & R Auction INC
Est: $0- $0
$253 Bids
(3 Pc) Jay Strongwater Jeweled & Enameled Trinket Figurine Grouping
Dec 06, 12:00 PM EST
(3 Pc) Jay Strongwater Jeweled & Enameled Trinket Figurine Grouping
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $50- $500
$752 Bids
2 PCS. ALBANY TRANSFERWARE: 8" PINK THORPS & SPRAGUE & 10" MED BLUE SOUP BOWL
Dec 04, 10:30 AM EST
2 PCS. ALBANY TRANSFERWARE: 8" PINK THORPS & SPRAGUE & 10" MED BLUE SOUP BOWL
by Carlsen Gallery, Inc.
Est: $100- $200
$502 Bids
SWARBRICK Barbara (b.1945), Double Handled Square Bowl, 1989., , 30x20x2cm
Dec 07, 4:00 PM AEDT
SWARBRICK Barbara (b.1945), Double Handled Square Bowl, 1989., , 30x20x2cm
by Davidson Auctions
Est: AUD100- AUD200
AUD1002 Bids
Large Sumida Gawa Centerpiece Bowl
Dec 06, 12:00 PM EST
Large Sumida Gawa Centerpiece Bowl
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $100- $1,000
$501 Bid
Splendid Vintage Oriental Decorated Fish Shaped Covered Bowl.
Dec 04, 10:00 AM CST
Splendid Vintage Oriental Decorated Fish Shaped Covered Bowl.
by Thriftiques of Iowa
Est: $10- $1,000
$101 Bid
Antique Large Delphin Massier Vallauris Crane
Dec 04, 10:00 AM EST
Antique Large Delphin Massier Vallauris Crane
by World Auction Gallery
Est: $300- $400
$1501 Bid
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BOW, SCHALE
Dec 12, 10:00 AM CET
BOW, SCHALE
by Schuler Auktionen
Est: CHF120- CHF220
CHF1201 Bid
Signed C.R. Brown Decorated Vintage Art Pottery Bowl/ Fish Motif
Dec 17, 7:00 PM EST
Signed C.R. Brown Decorated Vintage Art Pottery Bowl/ Fish Motif
by Tunicks Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $300
$101 Bid
Kgl., Musselmalet, halvblonde, 1979-1983
Dec 10, 10:00 AM CET
Kgl., Musselmalet, halvblonde, 1979-1983
by Svendborg Auktionerne ApS
Est: 1,000 kr- 2,000 kr
1,000 kr1 Bid
Marblehead Pottery Bowl
Dec 06, 12:00 PM EST
Marblehead Pottery Bowl
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $25- $200
$251 Bid
Group Of 5 Oriental Porcelain Bowls
Dec 08, 10:00 AM EST
Group Of 5 Oriental Porcelain Bowls
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$11 Bid
Five small dishes and a ruby ground bowl.
Dec 14, 9:00 PM PST
Five small dishes and a ruby ground bowl.
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $40- $60
$201 Bid
North Dakota School of Mines Julia Mattson Bowl c1920s
Dec 03, 11:00 AM PST
North Dakota School of Mines Julia Mattson Bowl c1920s
by California Historical Design, Inc
Est: $250- $350
$1501 Bid
(12 Pc) Schlaggenwald Bohemian Porcelain Bowl And Plate Set
Dec 20, 12:00 PM EST
(12 Pc) Schlaggenwald Bohemian Porcelain Bowl And Plate Set
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $100- $1,000
$501 Bid
Wonderful Very Old Oriental Decorated Bowl. Porcelain
Dec 04, 10:00 AM CST
Wonderful Very Old Oriental Decorated Bowl. Porcelain
by Thriftiques of Iowa
Est: $10- $1,000
$101 Bid
Wavecrest Trinket Dish On Pedestal, Floral, Ormolu Trim
Dec 04, 5:00 PM CST
Wavecrest Trinket Dish On Pedestal, Floral, Ormolu Trim
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Large Stone Bowl from Arizona
Dec 10, 9:00 AM EST
Large Stone Bowl from Arizona
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $25- $2,000
$251 Bid
Blue Stone Crock Bowl
Dec 08, 12:00 PM CST
Blue Stone Crock Bowl
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$11 Bid
Gertrude & Otto Natzler Blue Conical Bowl
Dec 15, 5:00 PM PST
Gertrude & Otto Natzler Blue Conical Bowl
by MBA Seattle Auction LLC
Est: $750- $1,500
$3751 Bid
MEISELMAN Art Pottery Seashell Covered Dish
Dec 21, 10:00 AM EST
MEISELMAN Art Pottery Seashell Covered Dish
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $20- $50
$11 Bid
Large Antique Spanish Granada Earthenware Bowl.
Dec 04, 11:00 AM EST
Large Antique Spanish Granada Earthenware Bowl.
by Palmyra Heritage Gallery
Est: $100- $200
$201 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Bowls


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Lion and Unicorn

Lion and Unicorn

Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer