Clarice Cliff Art Deco Pottery
Clarice Cliff art deco pottery is pottery, including dinnerware and tableware, designed in the Art Deco style by British pottery designer Clarice Cliff.
Clarice Cliff (1899-1972) was an esteemed female pottery designer working in Great Britain during the Art Deco period. Pieces exhibiting her striking, much-recognised Art Deco designs are still considered highly collectible today. Cliff’s work can be seen on vases, pitchers, mugs, bowls, tableware, teapots, cruets and sifters.
From the late 1920s until the mid 1930s, Cliff worked for Newport Pottery (a subsidiary of the Burslem firm A J Wilkinson, which also manufactured Royal Staffordshire Pottery. Cliff’s linear, boldly coloured designs were incredibly popular at the time of production and Cliff was promoted to the position of artistic director of Wilkinson in 1934. During this period she oversaw the work of many other notable designers, including Paul Nash and Vanessa Bell (the sister of novelist Virginia Wolfe). In 1940, Cliff married Colley Shorter – the then manager of A J Wilkinson.
Clarice Cliff is an expansive area for collectors, which encompasses several styles and eras.
The collecting market for Clarice Cliff is complex. Whilst it is still possible to purchase Cliff’s most readily produced designs, such as examples of Crocus, for as little as $30, less mass produced designs command much higher prices at prestigious auction houses.
Unusual combinations of pattern and shape are particularly attractive to serious collectors.
The world record price achieved by an item of Clarice Cliff Art Deco pottery is £39,500. This figure relates to the sale of an 18 inch charger in the May Avenue pattern, which was offered at Christie’s in 2004. Another notable sale occurred at the same auction house in the same year, when an 8 inch vase in Sunspots brought £20,000.
In September 2009, the V&A included a great deal of Clarice Cliff Art Deco pottery in its New Ceramics Galleries.
Clarice Cliff created a range of designs, including Geometric (1927), Crocus (1928), Bizarre, Fantasque, Applique, Lugano, Palm, Napoli, My Garden, Tonquin, Rural Scenes and Celtic Harvest.
The so-called 'most collectable' patterns are the ones with the named backstamps - Bizarre and Fantasque. The patterns designed before 1935/6 are generally of a higher value. This lotus jug is designed in the Applique range and the pattern name is usually known as Lugano.
Any extent of damage should be reflected in the price of a piece of pottery, regardless of its maker.
A Clarice Cliff Fantasque Autumn (Balloon Trees) Pattern Double-handled Lotus Jug brought $3250 at Skinner in June 2011.
A Clarice Cliff "Fantasque Bizarre" bachelor tea set brought $4,250 at Dallas Auction Gallery in October 2006.
Three ceramic jugs in an early Fantasque, early Bizarre, and geometric Original Bizarre patterns brought $6000 at Rago Modern Auctions, LLP in October 2006.