It was one of 10 pieces by the doyenne of the British studio pottery movement that came for sale on July 30 from the estate of Claire Frankel (1930-2019) of Washington DC.
The piece, that bettered an estimate of $25,000-35,000, dates from c.1978 – Rie’s prime period when she displayed mastery of both form and glaze from her London studio at Albion Mews. It contrasts an unusual terracotta matt glaze with bands of manganese, fine lines of turquoise and the surprise of white porcelain visible to the foot and through sgraffitoed parallel lines.
When the 25% buyer’s premium is added the final price was $225,000.
The winning bid bettered Phillips own record – the $170,000 (£133,900) posted in December 2016 for a flaring footed porcelain bowl with a matte white glaze and concentric inlaid blue lines also from c.1978. That piece is almost identical to another pictured on the front cover of Tony Birk’s 1994 biography Lucie Rie.
Claire Frankel, a freelance writer and journalist who was married to William Frankel, the long-time editor of the Jewish Chronicle, began collecting Rie’s work in the early 1980s. She devoted several articles during the late 1980s and early 1990s to contemporary British ceramics, examining the growing interest and market for these works.
Her collection of pieces by Rie hammered just shy of $480,000 with a single piece of Hans Coper, the 12in (30cm) Ovoid Pot with Disc c.1965, sold at $130,000 (£98,900).