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John Paul Cooper coconut

Silver mounted coconut

Hallmarked London 1929

John Paul Cooper

John Paul Cooper trained as an architect and was a metalwork specialist. In 1896 he set up his first workshop in Kensington. He was appointed head of the metal working department at Birmingham University in 1904, his driving thesis was no artist should design anything without knowing how to make it himself. He had a particular interest in the incorporation of exotic materials and re-popularised the use of shagreen. He built a home complete with a workshop on Betsoms Hill: the highest point in Kent: his house was designed as a homage to vernacular Kentish architecture.

This is one of 3 coconuts by John Paul Cooper I know of. A gem set chalice is healed in the V&A, the other is a mazer cup sold by Christie’s in 2014

Provenance: Deaccessioned from the Birmingham Museum of Fine Art Alabama

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