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Editor at Large

Bowled over: $36M for a piece of porcelain

- Last modified: April 10, 2014 at 12:32 PM

There are collectibles and then there are collectibles.

Tuesday in Hong Kong, a small bowl from the Chinese Ming dynasty sold for $36.3 million at a Sotheby's auction, according to The Wall Street Journal. A collector based in Shanghai bought the bowl, known as the "chicken cup" for the chickens painted on its side, the Journal reported.

The Ming dynasty ran from 1368-1644, making this bowl at least 370 years old. One of 19 known to exist, the cup is highly desired by wealthy Chinese, the Journal said. (For the story, click here.)

The buyer told the Journal that he thought he got the cup at a reasonable price.

I suppose, however, that reasonable – like the word beauty – is in the eye of the beholder.

Speaking of big spending, someone shelled out more than $5,000 this week in the merchandise shop at The Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga., according to Business Insider.

Having been to the shop, I can say that spending $5K is easy to do – not that I spent anywhere close to that amount. (However, the people at The Masters are extremely nice, and the prices for food and refreshments are inexpensive when compared to those at other sports venues.)

In other news and notes in the world of business:

-- Daily newspapers continue to feel the sting of declining revenue. The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J., and Express-Times of Easton are facing more layoffs because of restructuring by their parent, Advance Publications.

As a veteran of daily newspapers, I wonder what the end game is for a business rocked by two haymakers: (1) People want their daily news delivered digitally and (2) They don't want to pay for it.

-- No surprise, but Blackberry would consider getting out of the phone business, according to a report by Reuters.

-- Wal-Mart is going big-time into organic foods, via Reuters and Business Insider. It's an attempt to stem falling grocery sales. (For the story, click here.)

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