Lucie Rie - Design London Wednesday, June 30, 2021 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Provenance

    Janet Leach, St Ives, acquired directly from the artist
    Gifted from the above to the present owner, circa 1997

  • Literature

    John Houston, ed., Lucie Rie: a survey of her life and work, exh. cat., Crafts Council and The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1981, p. 88 for a similar example

  • Catalogue Essay

    While visiting Lucie Rie at her studio at 18 Albion Mews, the ceramic artist Vivienne Foley noticed a porcelain bowl with manganese glaze and inlaid design closely resembling the present work, if not the exact bowl. Afterwards when Rie invited her upstairs for tea, Foley inquired whether she could purchase the bowl. Rie’s response was, 'You are a potter. What do you want with my work?'. As she was relocating her studio to Ireland, Foley didn’t have the opportunity to follow up with Rie. However, in 1978 on a trip with the Craftsmen Potters Association, Foley spent a month in China with Janet Leach, the American studio potter and wife of Bernard Leach, and the American writer and lecturer Barbara Curtis Adachi, who was an expert in Bunraku, the traditional Japanese puppet theatre. In conversation, they realised Leach had purchased a work by Foley from Casson Gallery as a gift for her friend, Adachi. Following the trip the three remained friends, and they visited one another in the United States, England and Ireland. Several years later, Leach gave Adachi three of Rie’s bowls from her collection. Having recollected the story of Foley’s visit to Rie’s studio in the 1970s, Leach asked that Adachi give the present work to Foley.

  • Artist Biography

    Lucie Rie

    Austrian • 1902 - 1995

    Dame Lucie Rie studied under Michael Powolny at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna before immigrating to London in 1938. In London she started out making buttons for the fashion industry before producing austere, sparsely decorated tableware that caught the attention of modernist interior decorators. Eventually she hit her stride with the pitch-perfect footed bowls and flared vases for which she is best-known today. She worked in porcelain and stoneware, applying glaze directly to the unfired body and firing only once. She limited decoration to incised lines, subtle spirals and golden manganese lips, allowing the beauty of her thin-walled vessels to shine through. In contrast with the rustic pots of English ceramicist Bernard Leach, who is considered an heir to the Arts and Crafts movement, collectors and scholars revere Rie for creating pottery that was in dialogue with the design and architecture of European Modernism.

    View More Works


Conical bowl

circa 1978
Porcelain with manganese glaze, radiating inlaid and sgraffito design.
11.3 cm (4 1/2 in.) high, 21.3 cm (8 3/8 in.) diameter
Underside impressed with artist's seal.

£40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for £81,900

Contact Specialist

Antonia King

Head of Sale, Design



London Auction 30 June 2021