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On this occasion, though, their impact was reduced. Four of the eight Copers were bought in, including the three that sported
five-figure estimates, as were over half the Ries. Their relative absence from the price list was undoubtedly a major factor in this sale’s less than stellar final statistics, with the £143,000 total amounting to a selling rate in money of just 54 per cent.

Work by most of the other potters generally performed better, however, so that the auctioneers managed to sell a more comfortable 64 per cent by lot. Bonhams’ Ben Willams put buyers’ reluctance down to economic conditions. ”It was the first sale I can remember where we haven’t had one item over £10,000” he said.

Elizabeth Fritsch’s 131/2in (34cm) high spout pot of c.1978, pictured here, proved to be the sale’s joint best-seller at £8500, comfortably over the £5000-7000 estimate. It shared the slot with an 83/4in (22cm) diameter Lucie Rie porcelain flared bowl of c.1975 estimated at the same level.