The goblet, 4½in (11.5cm) high, went under the hammer at Sworders’ Homes and Interiors Online sale on November 22 with an estimate of £60-80. It was catalogued as an Arts & Crafts goblet in copper with white metal mounts and abalone shell decoration.
It was previously in the Jan Finch Collection, a greater part of which was sold in the Stansted Mountfitchet auction house’s dedicated sale Instinct, Scholarship and Curiosity: The Jan Finch Collection on November 9.
Bernbaum was among the bidders recognising Cooper’s hand. It was knocked down for £2600.
The goblet or sugar bowl was pictured in the German journal Der Moderne Stil in 1903. It was photographed with two matching candlesticks in copper, sterling silver and abalone – which Bernbaum also discovered several years ago.
These came from an even more unexpected source: a US eBay seller from whom Bernbaum acquired them for around $1000. Dating to 1903, these are known to have been included in the Arts and Crafts Society Exhibition of the same year and were included in Cooper’s first stock book.
Cooper took up metalwork in 1897 and later set up a workshop in Kensington. He taught at Birmingham School of Art and was head of the metalwork department from 1904-07.