Hans Coper - Design London Wednesday, April 24, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Peter Collingwood, UK
    Phillips Auctioneers, London, 'Contemporary Ceramics', 26 October 2000, lot 99

  • Exhibited

    ‘Peter Collingwood|Hans Coper: Rugs and wall-hangings by Peter Collingwood, Pots by Hans Coper’, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 29 January-2 March 1969 then travelled to Art Gallery, Southampton (12 April-4 May), City Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham (29 May-22 June), City Art Gallery, Manchester (15 July-10 August)
    ‘Masterworks: Lucie Rie and Hans Coper’, Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum, Royal Pump Rooms, 21 April-3 June 2001 (from collection on temporary loan, 2001-2002)
    Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Gallery 10 and the Industrial Gallery, June 2002-June 2004 (from collection on temporary loan, June 2002-June 2004)
    ‘Masterpieces of Studio Pottery’, Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead, 29 January-15 May 2005 (from collection on temporary loan, 26 August 2004-31 July 2007)
    ‘Lucie Rie & Hans Coper: Art Alive is Always Modern’, MIMA, Middlesbrough, 28 November 2008-15 February 2009 (from collection on temporary loan, 1 February 2008-21 August 2012)

  • Literature

    Peter Collingwood|Hans Coper: Rugs and wall-hangings by Peter Collingwood, Pots by Hans Coper, exh. cat., Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1969, fig. 18

  • 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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Sack form with disc

Stoneware, porcelain and manganese glaze.
27 cm (10 5/8 in) high
Impressed with artist’s seal.

£12,000 - 16,000 

Sold for £15,000

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London 25 April 2013 2pm