Collecting Affordable Art Deco China and Ceramics

China and ceramics from the Art Deco period of the 1920s and 1930s have remained very popular with collectors and can often command high prices, especially the designs of Clarice Cliff.  However, if you like the geometric style and bright colours of the Art Deco period you can quickly assemble a wonderful collection of good quality ceramics on little money.

While the pattern may have been designed by Clarice Cliff, the plates, cups and coffee pots were decorated by a number of different painters employed by the different potteries and the quality of the output varied greatly.  As a collector you should be looking out for Gray’s Pottery who first employed female art studen Susie Cooper in 1922.  Susie had studied at the Stoke-on-Trent City Art School under Gordon Forsyth who arranged her employment at Gray’s, where he himself worked.  She moved very quickly from decorating to working alongside Gordon in design and she was appointed resident designer in 1923.

Few records were kept but her first pattern is thought to be 2866 and by the time she left to set up here own company in 1929 the numbers had reached 8450.  Her contribution was huge and in 1927 a special backstamp was created incorporating the words ‘designed by Susie Cooper’.

In 1927 Gray’s launched a range of banded designs that were thought to be by Susie Cooper.  They were made in many colour combinations with wavy bands.  You would be able to pick up a tea canister in that pattern for around £20 or £30.  Susie Cooper is well known for her geometric patterns and Cubist (8071) is probably the best known, containing primary colours with black lines and shapes.  A coffee can and saucer would be between £200 and £300.  Pattern 8127 is considered to be the rarest and a coffee can with saucer would set you back £300.  A rare example of a Clarice Cliff Coffe can would be at least three times that. Continue reading “Collecting Affordable Art Deco China and Ceramics”

A Beginner’s Guide to Art Deco China

Art Deco is geometric, angular and streamlined and the colours are usually bold and dramatic. The Art Deco style was applied to decorative art as well as architecture. Art Deco is associated with luxury, style and high living.

First seen at the international exhibition in Paris in 1925 Art Deco was in vougue during the 1920s and 1930s and was a great inspiration to British ceramicists.  Art Deco ceramics were extremely popular.  Their bright, colourful design brought a sense of fun and contemporary style to the home.  The First World War had changed women’s position in society and many of them were keen to support the newly emerging female designers, such as Clarice Cliff, Charlotte Rhead and Susie Cooper.

For the collector the choices are endless – you can collect by shape, by factory, by designer, by colour, by motif or by year.  Clarice Cliff’s design made at the A J Wilkinson factory were avidly collected with the new Bizarre range being especially popular.  Apart from being a surface designer Clarice had also trained as a modeller and she was interested in developing glazes.  The combination of these three makes her designs so interesting.  While Clarice Cliff pottery can be very expensive there are affordable pieces to be had.  Crocus was made from 1928 to 1964 and is one of the most affordable, while Honolulu was only made for about a year and is difficult to find and expensive. Continue reading “A Beginner’s Guide to Art Deco China”