Hans Coper vase

Tall bottle vase with disc by Hans Coper – £520,000 at Bonhams.

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Tall bottle vase with disc, a monumental piece by the German-born British ceramicist Hans Coper, set a new auction record for studio pottery when it took £520,000 (estimate £80,000-120,000) at Bonhams’ Design sale in London on October 4.

The 20in (50cm) high stoneware form, layered with white porcelain slips, incised linear designs and a manganese glaze dated from c.1968. It had been acquired by the owner from Galerie Besson, London in 2005.

The price is only a new record by dint of the auction house’s premium thresholds.

The buyer of Bonhams’ vase will pay £655,500, a fraction more than the £651,700 paid for Coper’s 18in (46cm) ‘coco de mer’ pot from 1968 that also hammered at £520,000 as part of last year’s sale of the collection of the late New York art dealer Dr John P Driscoll.

ATG front page cut out

ATG No 2518’s front page coverage of the Phillips/Maak Driscoll auction in November 2021.

During the Driscoll sale, held by Phillips/Maak in November 2021, the record for Coper (1920-81) had been broken a number of times.

Current evidence suggest prices for the very best pieces are holding up well.

Marcus McDonald, Bonham’s director of 20th century design, said: “This was a true masterpiece and I am not surprised that there was such keen bidding in the room, on the phones and over the internet with the exciting outcome of a new world auction record for a work by Coper.”