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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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Stone Bowl
Mar 16, 10:00 AM EDT
Stone Bowl
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$1508 Bids
LOT OF 8- VINTAGE CORNING-WARE BOWLS
Feb 24, 11:00 AM EST
LOT OF 8- VINTAGE CORNING-WARE BOWLS
by Lakelands Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$356 Bids
Couroc "Road Runner" Inlaid Bowl
Feb 25, 7:00 PM EST
Couroc "Road Runner" Inlaid Bowl
by Lettieri Auction & Appraisal
Est: $25- $40
$55 Bids
Oriental Art Pottery Bowl In Signed Wooden Case
Feb 22, 10:00 AM EST
Oriental Art Pottery Bowl In Signed Wooden Case
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$95 Bids
3 stone bowls
Mar 16, 10:00 AM EDT
3 stone bowls
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$604 Bids
stone mortar bowl
Mar 16, 10:00 AM EDT
stone mortar bowl
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$1254 Bids
Dodie Thayer Lettuce Ware Collection
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
Dodie Thayer Lettuce Ware Collection
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$1604 Bids
Four Pasta Bowls Marked Villeroy & Boch, 30cm
Feb 24, 10:00 AM AEDT
Four Pasta Bowls Marked Villeroy & Boch, 30cm
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD354 Bids
Vintage Corning Ware 1.5 Quart Casserole Dish
Feb 27, 6:00 PM EST
Vintage Corning Ware 1.5 Quart Casserole Dish
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$33 Bids
(2) Bennington Pottery Serving Dishes, Meat Tray, and Crock
Feb 22, 9:00 AM EST
(2) Bennington Pottery Serving Dishes, Meat Tray, and Crock
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$153 Bids
Rockingham Bowls
Mar 01, 5:00 PM EST
Rockingham Bowls
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$102 Bids
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Gerard, Dufraisseix + Abbot Porcelain Bowl, Strawberries
Feb 22, 2:00 PM EST
Gerard, Dufraisseix + Abbot Porcelain Bowl, Strawberries
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$502 Bids
(2pc) Post Modern Italian Glazed Terra-cotta Bowls
Feb 24, 10:00 AM MST
(2pc) Post Modern Italian Glazed Terra-cotta Bowls
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$202 Bids
M. A. Hadley Hand Painted Ceramic Handled Bowls
Feb 27, 6:00 PM EST
M. A. Hadley Hand Painted Ceramic Handled Bowls
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$22 Bids
Breininger Redware
Mar 02, 9:00 AM EST
Breininger Redware
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$52 Bids
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C.T. Altwasser Germany Porcelain Covered Soup Bowl
Feb 22, 2:00 PM EST
C.T. Altwasser Germany Porcelain Covered Soup Bowl
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$402 Bids
Oversized Mid Century Modern Art Pottery Center Bowl
Mar 06, 11:00 AM EST
Oversized Mid Century Modern Art Pottery Center Bowl
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $300- $500
$101 Bid
COWAN Pottery Renaissance Motif Console Bowl
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
COWAN Pottery Renaissance Motif Console Bowl
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $80- $120
$201 Bid
Antique Lowestoft Porcelain Armorial Dish
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
Antique Lowestoft Porcelain Armorial Dish
by Akiba Galleries
Est: $50- $500
$251 Bid
A Caughley Salopian blue and white dish of shaped form in the Conversation
Feb 25, 9:00 AM GMT
A Caughley Salopian blue and white dish of shaped form in the Conversation
by Claydon Auctioneers
Est: £30- £50
£301 Bid
Antique English Armorial Porcelain Bowl
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
Antique English Armorial Porcelain Bowl
by Akiba Galleries
Est: $50- $500
$251 Bid
Glen Lukens, Low bowl
Feb 28, 10:00 AM PST
Glen Lukens, Low bowl
by Los Angeles Modern Auctions
Est: $800- $1,200
$1001 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Bowls


Potteries Auctions

Potteries Auctions

Auktionshaus Rheine

Auktionshaus Rheine

RCB Auctions

RCB Auctions

Aether Auctions

Aether Auctions