Discontinued Collectibles Guide

Clarice Cliff Pottery, Tableware & Collectibles

You don’t have to be a collector or an expert in 20th Century ceramics to be aware of the name Clarice Cliff. Such is the public awareness of Clarice Cliff collectibles that she is really a household name. Even beyond the ranks of the cognoscenti her striking, hand painted brightly coloured Art Deco shapes are immediately recognised as highly sought after collectables.

Born in January 1899 Clarice’s illustrious career spanned the greater part of the 20th Century despite her relatively early death at the age of 72 in October 1972. Clarice Cliff designs, right from the start were always innovative. For the collector of today there is a vast array of collectables out there. The collector can specialise in one particular type of product or choose to collect anything by Clarice Cliff. There really is no end to the variety of products and designs created by this remarkable lady.

Clarice Cliff is regarded as the most important and influential designers of Art Deco ceramics of the entire 20th Century. She was born in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent; in the heart of "The Potteries", daughter of a foundry worker, whose wife, Clarice’s mother, took in washing to help support their seven children. Clarice spent much of her time after school with her aunts who were hand paintresses at a pottery in Tunstall.

Leaving School at 13, like most of her contemporaries in Stoke-on-Trent, Clarice Cliff started work at a local pottery, where she learned the art of gilding. Being more ambitious than most she moved on to new jobs to learn new skills and became adept at modelling vases and figurines, hand painting, outlining and enamelling, keeping pattern books and other skills. In the evenings she studied art and sculpture at the Burslem School of Art.

In 1924 Clarice became an apprentice for the second time at A J Wilkinson’s, this time working with the factory’s two designers. Her skills were soon recognised and in 1927 she was given her own design studio at the Newport Pottery, next door. There she was given free rein to decorate some old, defective white or "glost" ware using her own freehand patterns.

To cover the imperfections Clarice devised simple patterns comprised of triangles using bright colours applied over the glaze. She called this style "Bizarre," and added her own hand-painted backstamp "Hand Painted Bizarre by Clarice Cliff". Sometimes she would add, "Newport Pottery" beneath.

A small consignment of these items was delivered to a major stockist and proved an immediate success. Soon a proper backstamp was devised and added to the products which are now so highly collectible.

Soon "Bizarre" became the blanket name for Clarice Cliff’s entire range of patterns. Henceforth, the company had to refer to those with the original hand painted backstamp as "Original Bizarre." These are now even more collectable.

On each of the pages within this section dedicated to Clarice Cliff collectibles we have included links to live and current online auctions dealing in each theme. In addition, where known, we have added details of collector clubs, forums and websites. We wish you every success in tracking down the missing pieces of your discontinued Clarice Cliff collection and hope you will become a regular visitor to Accumulations. Remember it’s an ever-changing scene so it is always worth a return visit!

If you are interested in a specific type or genre of Clarice Cliff collectible, click on one of the following links:-


Please also check out the Clarice Cliff Books, Related Dealers and Useful Resources listed on this page.

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