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Sep. 16th, 2006

math5 brought my attention to this:

Fom September 7 to 13, Sotheby's is presenting the first exhibition of the Hippopotamus Service, probably the single most important commissioned service of the last 100 years. In will be on view in Sotheby's second floor galleries.

Commissioned from Royal Copenhagen by Richard Baron Cohen and painted on the Flora Danica shape with its distinctive serrated rim, the service comprises 144 pieces hand painted with 303 different views of hippopotamuses, alone or in family groups, taken from original photographs of hippos in a 101 zoos from 33 countries around the world. Each piece is titled on the reverse in the distinctive Royal Copenhagen script with the name of the hippo or hippos, the name of the zoo and its home city and country.

Cohen is a collector of important antique neoclassical porcelain, as well as a longstanding member of Hippolotofus — The International Hippo Society — and it is the combination of these two interests that has provided the inspiration for the Hippopotamus Service.

Having long admired the design and quality of Royal Copenhagen's well-known Flora Danica service, the factory was chosen by Cohen to undertake his commission as he believed that only Royal Copenhagen decorators had the precision painting skills necessary to successfully undertake such a project. The result is a service unparalleled in modern times, which continues a tradition of commissioned services that can be traced back to the early Eighteenth Century.

The exhibition includes selected items from the 144-piece service, as well as examples of Flora Danica and other Royal Copenhagen porcelain, together with some of the original hippo photographs from which the service is painted.

Two lectures will be given in conjunction with the exhibition. In the first on Thursday, September 7, at 4 pm, Harry Frost, ceramic historian and former curator of the Royal Worcester Museum, England, will discuss the world of commissioned porcelain in a historic perspective. The second, which follows at 5 pm, by Sarah Louise Galbraith, photographer of the hippos, will discuss the service and its genesis, as well as providing an opportunity to see more details of the wares and the original photographs from which they derive.

-end article-

Plus, I found out that Sarah Louise Galbraith has a blog all about her experience. Glee!


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 16th, 2006 04:24 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday!
Sep. 16th, 2006 08:55 pm (UTC)
Definitely not your usual Sothebys offering-go hippos! :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Amy Knauer / Violet Coleson

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