The blue and white moonflask had previously been owned by a family for decades who had kept it on a wooden stand and used it as a doorstop in their Long Island home, before spotting a similar piece in a Sotheby's advertisement.
The vase was part of Sotheby's sale that raised nearly USD 27 million.
Along with the rare Ming Dynasty moonflask, other highlights included a Wucai 'fish' jar and cover which had been owned by the Walters Museum in Baltimore.
It was sold to benefit the Asian Art Acquisitions Fund and fetched nearly USD 2 million.
Dr Tao Wang, who was recently appointed head of the Chinese Works of Art Department at Sotheby's New York, said he was "thrilled" with the result of the first auction he has attended there.
"We saw exceptional demand across the sale which drove the total to such heights," Wang was quoted as saying by the BBC.
The historical artifacts in the sale included an imperial jade seal which sold for the highest price of the auction, at nearly USD 3.5 million.
Another discovery was a pair of 17th century armchairs which had been given to a church in Victoria, Canada.
They had been used frequently by the clergy and the congregation, and sold for USD 7,58,500.