A Charles F Hurten Copeland plaque is to go on sale at the Bonhams
Trelissick House auction in Cornwall on 23 and 24 July, estimated at £10,000-15,000.
Known for both his art and his generous income, Hurten was one of the first artists in England to be paid a top bankers salary then of £350 per annum in 1858 which is the equivalent to around £30,000 in todays economy. This was unheard of, as other artists were only ever paid per piece. Hurtens high wages allowed him to eat as the upper class did, purchasing imported luxury meals regularly from the renowned Fortnum and Masons, which he would have delivered to him in Stoke.
Created with coloured clay and fine paint, the earthenware plaque is a representation of Charles F Hurtens distinctive works. As well as this, his use of differing materials was a unique take on art during that time. The artists depiction of a garden scene stays within the theme of fruit, foliage and flora which can be seen in most of his work.
Born in Germany in 1821, Charles Ferdinand Hurten lived his life as a painter. He trained in Cologne and resided in Paris, before moving to England to find work. In 1858, Hurten was persuaded to work at Spode, which had been trading under the name of W.T Copeland. Copeland had previously seen Hurtens craft and was intrigued by his skill.
Unlike the other artists at Spode, Hurten was given special treatment. He was the only artist at Spode to be granted his own personal studio, and was given the freedom to paint on any ware he wanted. Hurten broadened his line of talent by practising on various projects including: earthenware plaques, fireplace slabs, paintings, and china sets and ornaments. This unseen versatility within an artist led to Hurtens large scale projects with royalty.
As Hurtens reputation began to grow during his time with the Copelands, his work received more and more exposure in the upper class and royal communities. He was requested by the Prince of Wales personally to design a 196 piece dessert and tea service in 1863 for the princes wedding. His pieces were also featured in a Paris exhibition in 1889. It was even said that there is scarcely a palace throughout Europe that does not have a work painted by CFH.
Another of Hurtens pieces, a popular one at that, are his two Copeland presentation vases. These were given to William Copelands son, Richard as a wedding present. The vases are estimated to sell at £10,000-15,000.
The designer finally ended his stay with the Copelands in 1897, leaving behind many great works like the floral plaque and vases, to soon be featured in the upcoming auction.