Lucy Rie

Mystery potter #2: ???

Pottery vessel

Pottery vessel. Base

This handsome and austere salt glazed piece is a footed disc flattened on both sides and carved with a whorl pattern. It is 18cm (7″) tall. It does have a mark but I cannot decipher it. It resembles the work of the British potter Hans Coper (1920-1981) in its surface treatment and in the way it has been thrown, altered and assembled. Coper and his colleague Lucy Rie (1902-1995) influenced a number of Australian potters who travelled to England in the 1960s and 1970s.

I am not certain that this piece is Australian, only that it has an Australian provenance. I could say this about many of my mystery pots. This is one of the issues with collecting studio pottery. Australian collectors buy pieces by overseas potters and overseas potters visit or exhibit in Australia. The Adelaide auction house Scammells recently auctioned a collection of Danish studio pottery. Some of these pieces could well turn up in a few years’ time as mystery pots!