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Dame Lucie Rie, DBE (1902 - 1995) is a Austrian-British potter renowned for her delicate modernity. Simple sophistication can be found in in bowls, fine teacups, vases and it all started with buttons. Now in display in the Victoria and Albert Museum, a collection of buttons made from press- moulded glass and ceramic not only helped Rie through the hardship of the war years but, as Robin Stewart at Sotheby's notes, “soon became highly desirable bursts of colour in an otherwise grey London cityscape.”  They kicked started her career and Rie was able to set up another working studio after having to abandon her first one in Vienna when she fled Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938.

Rie met and employed Hans Coper in 1946, with whom she shared a lifelong close friendship. Coper was a  young artist, then-untrained in working with ceramics, who had escaped Germany. They worked closely for 12 years but also enjoyed individual & respected careers as leaders of the 20th century studio pottery movement.

Rie remained in London for the rest of her life and received various honours, including becoming an OBE in 1968, a CBE in 1981 and a Dame in 1991.
She was much written about and was the subject of a film directed by Cyril Frankel for the BBC, in 1982. Since her death in 1995, frequent prestigious exhibitions have been held to showcase her work and there has been no loss of interest at fine art salerooms.

In September 2015, Sotheby’s London sold a porcelain bowl for £37,500 and earlier this year, Wytes in Dublin, sold a fabulous footed bowl for a £27,100.

Screen Shot 2016-11-03 at 11.25.11 Left: Porcelain bowl, c.1980, sold for £37,500 in 2015; Right: Footed bowl, c.1980, sold for £27,000 in 2016

Philips, however, sold this conical bowl for a fantastic £106,250 last month. Such consistancy on the market and the prices acheived really highlight how Rie's contemporary style is as popular with today's buyers as it ever was.

Screen Shot 2016-11-03 at 11.09.03 Conical bowl, c.1976 sold for £106, 250 in September 2016

Mallams, in Oxford, have consigned this vase with an estimate of £7,000 - £9,000 and it will be sold in their Design sale on December 8th. This is the same sale that sees our Picasso vase going under the hammer too, so we will let you know what happens to both items.

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