Condition Report

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Back to Modern Ceramics & Glass / May 19, 2019


PETER VOULKOS (1924 - 2002)

Rare, large teapot and coffee cup by Voulkos, tea bowl by student, Berkeley, CA 1962; Glazed Lincoln fire clay stoneware; Teapot signed VOULKOS 62, cup signed VOULKOS, bowl signed A.S.; Teapot: 13" x 10 1/2" x 8"; Provenance: Gift from the artist to Reuben Kadish; Collection of Jenny J. Lee; After years of throwing perfectly controlled, conventional teapots, Peter Voulkos initiated ÒUgly Teapot CompetitionsÓ as challenges to his ceramics classes at UC Berkeley in the early 1960s - a reaction against Bernard LeachÕs teachings that good, proper pottery had to show ÒLife and Lift ,Ó this promulgated ÒDeath and Dump.Ó The products of these demonstrations would have been given to or bartered among the students, such as Reuben Kadish, the original owner of this group. One of them most likely threw the oversized tea bowl. Voulkos and his colleagues Ken Price, John Mason, Paul Soldner, Jim Melchert also goaded each other into producing the most misshapen mugs. The one in this lot would have been a serious contender, done by Voulkos in his studio around the same time. RagoÕs thanks Jeffrey Spahn for his invaluable help in cataloguing this lot.

Estimate: $9,000 - $12,000

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Condition Report

Excellent condition