Learn about Cliff, Clarice

The life story of English potter and designer Clarice Cliff, (1899-1972) is a real-life rags-to riches story. Clarice was born in the potteries area in Tunstall, Staffordshire in 1899, and her father was an iron moulder, while her mother took in washing.

She attended school until age 13 and then left to work in a lowly paid job in the potteries. At that time the potteries were the major employers of women in the North Staffordshire and at the time she commenced work there were over 20,000 women employed.

The jobs for women ranged from being assistants to the men who threw the pots, to the less menial but repetitive task of painting prescribed designs onto clay blanks.

After 10 years, and a several of changes of employer, she had learned a number of trades and mastered the techniques of gilding, enamelling, lithography and design.

At the age of 17 Clarice Cliff was working for the Royal Staffordshire Pottery owned by A J Wilkinson owned by the Shorter family. and at this time the firm's pattern books begin to credit her as the designer of some of the items illustrated in the books. more...
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A Clarice Cliff Bizarre 'Sungold' bowl, circa 1934, the '636' shape bowl hand painted to the interior with a diamond and sawtooth pattern in orange, yellow, brown and tan colours, yellow merging with orange with concentric black lines to th

A Clarice Cliff seven piece 'Original Bizarre' tea set, late 1920s, comprising a bullet teapot, small sugar bowl, creamer and two cups with associated saucers, all hand painted on glaze with sawtooth forms in orange, black and yellow colours upon a

Three Clarice Cliff Bizarre 'My garden' wares: a bowl, sugar shaker and a small Candleholder$1930-35, a tan drip glazed yellow bowl and a matching pillar shaker, both with moulded floral bases in exuberant colours; and a similar domed candleholder;

A Clarice Cliff Bizarre 'Aura' covered sugar bowl and saucer, the green 'Aura' bowl with triangular handles and decorated to the borders with Prussian blue, emerald and tan colours upon a cream ground; Bizarre Wilkinson backstamps underside

A Clarice Cliff Bizarre 'Double V' milk jug and matching bowl$1930-35, the ovoid jug with motifs boldly outlined in black, with cobalt 'V' designs, emerald leaves, and touches of orange and yellow upon a cream ground, the small octagonal bo

A Clarice Cliff 'Celtic harvest' teapot and sugar bowl$1936-38, the moulded ovoid teapot with a fruit handle, floral finial, wheat sheaves and trailing floral motifs to the textured body, in bright orange, yellow, emerald and apple green colours on

A Clarice Cliff 'Celtic harvest' basket vase$1936-38, the moulded boat shaped body with an arching fruit handle, wheat sheaves and trailing floral motifs to the textured body, in bright orange, yellow, emerald and apple green colours on a cream gro

Five Clarice Cliff 'Paris' wares: a platter, square bowl, and trio, Introduced 1952, designed by Eric Elliott, hand enamelled lithographs of bold maroon roses with foliage upon a cream ground; with Royal Staffordshire Ceramics for Clarice Cliff bac

A striking Clarice Cliff Bizarre banded Ware bowl, circa 1930, the '441' shape bowl with four integral triangular feet and twin ear form handles, with hand painted black, brown, orange and yellow bands and block colours upon a cream ground; with Bi

A Clarice Cliff orange Fantasque 'Lily' bowl, circa 1929, the cream bowl hand painted with a blue rim and a wide frieze in orange and green and coloured bands; with Fantasque Wilkinson backstamp underside and retailer's stamp for Lawleys of Reg

An Art Deco Clarice Cliff large stepped square bowl in the orange Erin pattern. Shape 417, all over decoration of dominant orange trees, green, black and yellow other tones, flake chip to rim. 23 cm x 23 cm x 11.5 cm.

Clarice Cliff Bizarre 'Nasturtium' bowl & under dish in tones of yellow, green, orange & brown, printed marks to the base. Condition: good, some general crazing, diameter of bowl17 cm

Clarice Cliff Cafe-au-lait oranges 'Bizarre' bowl, 29 cm diameter

Extensive Clarice Cliff 'Honeyglaze' dinner set, to include 6 dinner plates, 6 entree plates, 6 side plates, 6 dessert bowls, 6 soup bowls, 6 coffee cups and saucers, coffee pot sugar and creamer, gravy boat and saucer, 3 piece condiment set, dish, lidded

Clarice Cliff 'Crocus' octagonal dish brightly decorated with blue, purple and orange flowers, yellow banded interior. Stamped to the base.

Clarice Cliff Bizarre 'Crocus' pattern bowl, 21 cm diameter, 9 cm high, scratches to inside centre

Clarice Cliff table bowl embossed with fruit and woven basket pattern, printed marks, 23 cm diameter

Clarice Cliff Bizarre square stepped bowl printed marks, 19 cm

Clarice Cliff conical bowl Patina country pattern, printed marks, 19 cm

A 'Bizarre' Clarice Cliff octagonal bowl in the 'Lydiate' pattern design. Printed factory mark to base. Diameter 14 cm and height 7.4 cm.

An original 'Bizarre' Clarice Cliff octagonal bowl, painted with orange central medallion, bordered by blue, green and cream outlined in brown borders. Printed factory mark to base. Diameter 16 cm

A Bonjour Clarice Cliff bowl in 'Taormina' pattern. Printed factory mark to base. 9 cm x 18 cm

A Clarice Cliff conical small bowl, flared form with four triangular feet, in the ‘Sunshine’ pattern. Diameter 11.5 cm

Three Clarice Cliff 'Bizarre' graduating bowl. 19 cm, 17 cm and 13 cm diameters.

Clarice Cliff Newport pottery posie bowl & frog with an orange & black drip glaze, standing on a fruit form base. Stamped to the base 'Clarice Cliff of Newport Pottery England'. Condition good, some crazing to the bowl. Diameter 25.5 cm

Clarice Cliff Newport pottery fruit bowl having raised detail to the body depicting flowers, birds & fruit. Stamped to the base 'Clarice Cliff of Newport Pottery England' & with a raised mark '286 4/5'. Condition good, expected craz

Clarice Cliff Fantasque pin dish. House with trees decoration. Diameter 10 cm

Clarice Cliff Bizarre Fantasque conical sugar caster painted with sail boat pattern

Clarice Cliff Bizarre 'Blue Firs' sauce boat of conical form, stamped 'Bizarre by Clarice Cliff'. Condition, good, minor wear to the base, height, 8 cm

A Clarice Cliff fruit bowl, Newport pottery England, in the beechwood pattern. 1935. Diameter 22.5 cm

A Clarice Cliff 'Bizarre' bowl, of hexagonal shape, signed to base. Diameter 11.5 cm

Clarice Cliff 'Bizarre' part serving set comprising of 3 meat platters, plate, lidded serving dish, together with an extra lid,designed by Graham Sutherland (as inspected)

Forty piece Clarice Cliff 'Chelsea rose'dinner set to include 6 cups,6 saucers, 6 side/entree/dinner plates,6 soup cups,lidded tureen,platter, together with a gravy boat

A Clarice Cliff 'Bizarre ' sugar bowl, approx 8 cm diameter

Clarice Cliff 'Beechwood' bowl painted in green & yellow tones on a cream ground, stamped to the base 'Clarice Cliff Newport pottery England'. Condition, good, minor wear to the base. Diameter 22.5 cm

Clarice Cliff 'Bizarre' art deco bowl, with floral decorations, 33 cm long approx

A Clarice Cliff 'Fantasque' bowl, pattern trees and house. 7 cm high, 16 cm diameter

A Clarice Cliff sample-decorated bowl, 1930s, Wilkinson, circular, decorated to opposing sides with 'Viscaria' .8 cm high 16 cm diameter

Clarice Cliff, Fantasque Bizarre' Cheese Dish, c. 1931-1932, Oranges and Lemons' pattern, 'Athol' shape, printed factory marks to base 'Fantasque Hand Painted Bizarre by Clarice Cliff Newport Pottery England, total height 14 cm, width 19.5 cm

Clarice Cliff, Bizarre' Float Bowl, c. 1931, Bobbins' pattern, 'Hiawatha' shape, printed factory marks to base 'Fantasque Hand Painted Bizarre by Clarice Cliff Newport Pottery England, height 7.5 cm, diameter 28 cm