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14 Mar 1:02pm

Pensioner stunned as old vase kept in a shoebox fetches £381,000

The Guardian
Unnamed UK buyer pays record sum for Hans Coper piece – bought for £250 in the 1970s – suggesting a boom in ceramics market A Hans Coper vase has sold at auction in Devon for a record £381,000, the highest price ever paid for a piece of modern and contemporary studio pottery. The sale caught not just the seller – a pensioner whose husband had paid £250 for the item in the 1970s – but the entire market unawares. The owner took the vase to an open valuation day at her local auction house, Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood in Exeter. Less fond than her late husband of its uncompromising aesthetics, she had kept the vase in a cupboard after his death. Auctioneer Nic Saintey told the Guardian that he knew immediately that it was a Hans Coper, but thought the seller, who had brought it in a shoebox, might not.
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