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  • Provenance

    Jane Coper collection
    Thence by descent
    Bonhams, Knightsbridge, 'Contemporary Ceramics: Outstanding and Monumental Works', 25 March 1993, lot 176

  • Exhibited

    'Hans Coper', Babcock Galleries, New York, 15 November 1994-7 January 1995
    'Ceramic Modernism: Hans Coper, Lucie Rie and Their Legacy', Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, Toronto, 25 May-2 September 2002

  • Literature

    Hans Coper, exh. cat., Babcock Galleries, New York, 1994, illustrated, n.p.

  • 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. 

    View More Works

79

'Thistle' form

circa 1965
Stoneware, layered porcelain slips and engobes over a textured and incised body, the rim and interior with a manganese glaze.
18.5 x 14.5 x 5 cm (7 1/4 x 5 3/4 x 1 7/8 in.)
Impressed with artist's seal.

Estimate
£20,000 - 30,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £100,800

Contact Specialist

Antonia King
Head of Sale, Design
[email protected]

Ben Williams
Ceramics Consultant
[email protected]

Marijke Varrall-Jones
Director, Maak
[email protected]

The Art of Fire: Selections from the Dr John P. Driscoll Collection

London Auction in association with Maak