The bidding at the auction in Salisbury opened at £10,000 but rose quickly in increments of £5000 up to £200,000. Competition between dealer Rod Jellicoe in the room and another interested party on the phone then continued in increments of £10,000.
Auctioneer Clare Durham finally knocked down her gavel to a round of applause from the saleroom with Jellicoe placing the winning bid.
The vessel, only the sixth piece known from the John Bartlam factory in Cain Hoy, South Carolina, was estimated at £10,000-20,000 by Woolley & Wallis.
Bartlam’s kilns operating on the Wando river c.1765-70 are now recognised as the first to produce porcelain in America, preceding by about five years the better-known Bonnin and Morris factory in Philadelphia.
Low-fired phosphatic soft paste porcelain sherds were found at the Wando site in 2007, followed in 2010-11 by the discovery of a series of four blue and white teabowls and a saucer in English collections.
They had previously been sold or catalogued as Isleworth, the short-lived London factory that itself only arrived on the collecting map in the late 1990s.
The Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee and the Philadelphia Museum of Art both acquired teabowls, while another offered for sale by Christie’s New York in 2013 sold at $120,000 (£76,000).