Clarice Cliff guide a colorful, comprehensive resource



Clarice Cliff for Collectors, by Greg Slater, editor of The Agora, the magazine for Clarice Cliff collectors, builds on what was published in two previous books: The Bizarre Affair and Comprehensively Clarice Cliff.

According to this, Greg Slater’s latest book, “Clarice Cliff’s early fame was due to her ability to make stylish Art Deco objects available to the masses.” The color and form of her work have given Clarice Cliff pottery an enduring appeal that collectors still seek.

This is a guide that covers all aspects of collecting Art Deco pottery designed by Clarice Cliff. It includes information for enthusiasts on selecting, buying, displaying, maintaining and caring for Clarice Cliff pottery.

The book is organized into three sections. The first section is a brief biography of Clarice Cliff as well as brief biographies of Dolly (Dorothy) Cliff, her sister, and John Butler, Art Director at the A. J. Wilkinson pottery from 1904 to 1930. This section also includes a guide to pattern names, numbers, back stamps and shape numbers.

The second section of this colorful guide presents some of the main areas of A.J. Wilkinson production, arranged by type and then shape, making identification easier.

The third section of Clarice Cliff for Collectors includes helpful information on acquiring, storing, displaying and managing a collection, including practical advice on record keeping and insuring your collection.

Though this guide does not contain value information, it does go far beyond mere pattern identification. It includes key information on identifying Clarice Cliff’s work, of which no small part is the 500-plus color illustrations and the guide to back stamps. It also includes production dates and decoration methods.

This guide is meant to be a tool in managing a collection from the start; it includes advice on acquiring a collection, and readers will take a keen interest in the display options illustrated — a feature seldom-seen in collecting guides.

This helpful guide is rounded out by practical information on storage, restoration, conservation, cataloging a collection, and so on, as well as a significant list of resources for further reading. Patterns in the book are indexed, making it easy for readers to locate the designs they’re interested in.

As promised by the author, this book is a practical reference for those who want to assemble, display and properly care for a collection of Clarice Cliff’s ceramics.


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Clarice Cliff for Collectors, Greg Slater, Thames & Hudson, New York, 2009. $39.95. www.thamesandhudsonusa.com.

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