'May Avenue'
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VA… Read more
'May Avenue'

'May Avenue'
a Rare Large Eighteen Inch Charger, printed marks - 45.7cm diam.
Special notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis

Lot Essay

May Avenue appeared in 1933 and represented the very peak of Clarice Cliff's flair as a designer. The paintresses had by this time become skilled at interpreting her designs on to ware, and the 'pencil' brushes used for outlining this were finer than those used from 1927 to 1932. This made it possible to have more detail within designs. Also, different painting techniques could be combined on one piece; for example the flowing tree was achieved using a mix of outline, enamelling and cafe-au-lait stippling, using a special stippling brush.

After creating ware with more pastel shades in 1931-32 Clarice returned to stronger colours in 1933, and indeed used less of her 'signature' orange. The unusual vivid blue used for the banding and sky on May Avenue made it a strident design, and combined with the copper-coloured blue of the bushes, this design had a unique set of colours.

May Avenue represents the extremes of Clarice's artistic inspiration; the Modigliani oil painting we know it was inspired by shows how far she had moved from her 'Staffordshire roots' to pursue her ever-growing interest in art and design. Yet at the same time, the 'May Avenue' name was taken from a road just a few streets away from her Tunstall birthplace.

May Avenue has become the quintessential and most important of Clarice's 'Fantasque' range. Reviewing the most sought-after pieces of Clarice Cliff pottery over the years Christie's have sold it, shows that for many shapes May Avenue holds the price record. This rare and important 18 inch charger is the first example for sale by Christie's, or we believe, anywhere in Britain, America, Australia or New Zealand.

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