Hans Coper - Design New York Monday, December 14, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Mary Fedden, London, circa 1956
    Thence by descent to the present owner, Gloucestershire, 2010

  • Literature

    Tony Birks, Hans Coper, Yeovil, 2013, p. 117 for a similar example

  • Artist Biography

    Hans Coper

    German • 1920 - 1981

    Hans Coper learned his craft in the London studio of Lucie Rie, having emigrated from Germany as a young Jewish engineering student in 1939. He initially assisted Rie in the studio with the ceramic buttons she made for the fashion industry, as well as ceramic tableware, but soon Coper was producing his own work. By 1951 he had received considerable recognition exhibiting his pots in the "Festival of Britain." 

     

    Coper favored compound shapes that, while simple in appearance, were in fact complex in construction. Similar to the making of Joseon Dynasty Moon Jars (Rie in fact displayed a Moon Jar in the studio), he would build his vessels by bringing several thrown forms together, for example joining bowls rim to rim. Coper eschewed glazes and preferred the textured surfaces achieved through the application of white and black slips, evoking the abraded texture of excavated vessels. This interest in ancient objects was very much in step with other modernists of his time—Coper admired Constantin Brancusi and Alberto Giacometti and his textured markings have been compared to sculptors such as William Turnbull.

     

    In the last phase of his career, Coper reduced the scale of his work creating small "Cycladic" pots that stood on pedestals or drums, recalling the clay figures of Bronze Age Greece. 

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Property from a British Collection

127

Early thistle form

circa 1956
Stoneware, layered white porcelain slips and engobes over a body with textured and incised linear designs, the interior with manganese glaze.
9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm) high
Impressed with artist's seal.

Estimate
$20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $40,000

Contact Specialist
Design New York
+1 212 940 1266

Design

New York Auction 15 December 2015 1pm