Clarice Cliff – A ceramic artist active from 1922 to 1940

 

Clarice Cliff pottery is immediately recognisable and ranks as one of the most collectable. Clarice-CliffThe most well-known is probably the Bizarre range which is still highly sought after and can fetch high prices.

Original Bizarre
The name Bizarre was initially introduced to promote an experimental range of geometric designs painted onto old Newport Pottery stock. The experiment proved a tremendous success and the name itself came to symbolize her work. From July 1928 it appeared on virtually all her pieces until eventually withdrawn in 1936. Early geometric pieces are usually described as Original Bizarre.

Clarice was born in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, England the daughter of Harry Thomas Cliff and Ann Machin; her father was the great-great-great grandson of Thomas Wedgwood IV (1716-1773), the eldest brother of Josiah Wedgwood the famous potter.

When you think about art deco china, chances are that the name Clarice Cliff will be one of the first to spring to mind. Cliff brought something brand new to the dinner table that had become way too dour. Her ground breaking British-made pottery designs from the 1930s were astonishingly colourful.

When she was just 14, Cliff went to work as a painter for a local pottery in England. In 1916, she joined the firm of A. J. Wilkinson and remained there for the rest of her life. Cliff married the owner of the firm, Colley Shorter and after his death in 1963 sold the factory and retired to her home in Newcastle. She died in 1972.

It is important to remember that Cliff only produced wares for A. J. Wilkinson’s and its subsidiary Newport Pottery. Later pieces are often marked Royal Staffordshire Pottery. Midwinter and Wedgwood also produced some legitimate reproductions.

Clarice Cliff Pottery is a collectors dream; as with over 400 different pottery shapes and over 500 established design patterns, there is every opportunity to establish an individual collection. Some collectors specialise in a certain shape, collecting many different patterns whilst others will look out for a certain pattern in many different shapes. The possibilities are endless. The cost of Clarice Cliff Pottery covers a similar spectrum. When new, it was the Inspiration style that was the most expensive because of what it cost to produce, these days however, it is Applique designs that will cost the most to buy. Values also depend upon how well a pattern is suited to a particular shape. Applique tea sets can cost many thousands of pounds a time but many can be collected like sugar sifters, beehive preserve pots, plates or clogs at more reasonable prices.

Clarice Cliff Pottery Marks

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Clarice Cliff – A ceramic artist active from 1922 to 1940
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