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British studio pottery found in the US hits the auction block at Freeman's in Philadelphia
Lot 95, a handled dish of stoneware with white glaze and manganese oxide lip (estimate: $1,000-1,500) is an excellent example of Lucie Rie’s form, and comes from a private collection in Washington, D.C.


PHILADELPHIA, PA.- Rounding out Freeman’s 2018 auction season is the December 10 sale of Design. The auction includes close to 130 lots, offering a selection of American, British, and Japanese studio ceramics, with works by Jennifer Lee (b. 1956), Hans Coper (1920-1981), Lucie Rie (1902-1995), Michael Cardew (1901-1983), Bernard Leach (1887-1979), Derek Davis (1926-2008), Joanna Constantinidis (1927-2000), Clive Bowen (b. 1943), Phil Rogers (b. 1951), and early works by Ian Godfrey (1942-1992).

Lucie Rie was born in Austria in 1902, but moved to London in 1938 after establishing herself as a ceramicist in Vienna. Lot 95, a handled dish of stoneware with white glaze and manganese oxide lip (estimate: $1,000-1,500) is an excellent example of the artist’s form, and comes from a private collection in Washington, D.C. German-born Hans Coper joined Rie’s studio in 1946, having no prior pottery experience, and stayed for 12 years before establishing his own studio in Hertfordshire. Coper is known for his formed stoneware and use of colored oxide glazes. The auction includes a composite form with vertical impression by Coper, of stoneware with porcelain slip, engobes, and manganese glaze (Lot 89, estimate: $6,000-8,000).

Ian Godfrey enrolled in Camberwell Art School in London in 1957, to study painting. He quickly became interested in pottery, and began training under Coper and Rie, both of whom were teachers in the department. Godfrey founded his own pottery workshop in 1962 in the Islington neighborhood of London, and just five years later received a fellowship to the Royal College of Art. Freeman’s December 10 auction includes more than 15 items of Godfrey’s pottery, from a private New York collection, all of which was also included in the 1987 exhibition ‘British Contemporary Pottery by Ian Godfrey’ at the Graham Gallery. Highlights include Lot 109, ‘King and Queen in Court’ (estimate: $800-1,200), made of glazed stoneware, and Lot 113, a collection of eleven cups, nine with lids (estimate: $800-1,200) and made with glazed stoneware.

Additional highlights include Lot 87, a dark olive vessel with umber bands by Scottish ceramicist Jennifer Lee (estimate: $4,000-6,000), and Lot 105, a square form bottle vase by Bernard Leach (estimate: $2,000-3,000)

The auction also includes a varied selection of master American studio artisans from Pennsylvania. Among the modern designers, works by George Nakashima (1905-1990), Paul Evans (1931-1987), Wharton Esherick (1887-1970), and Phillip Lloyd Powell (1919-2008) feature prominently. A public exhibition will precede the auction, both to be held at Freeman’s Philadelphia headquarters at 1808 Chestnut Street. The full catalogue can be viewed online, and bidding can be done on the phone or online, through our dedicated bidding site, Freeman’s Live.





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