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Clarice Cliff, A. J. Wilkinson Ltd, Newport Pottery, Shorter & Son Ltd

1930s Shorter & Son Staffordshire Pottery Set of Three Fish plates

Clarice Cliff, A. J. Wilkinson Ltd, Newport Pottery, Shorter & Son Ltd

A. J. Wilkinson Ltd, Newport Pottery, Shorter & Son Ltd were all factories owned by the Shorter family and they worked in close co-operation.

The ‘Shorter & Bolton’ business was founded as a partnership between Arthur Shorter and James Bolton in 1872, in Stoke, Staffordshire, UK.  In 1891, after the death of his brother in law, Shorter commenced managing A.J Wilkinson.

Arthur Shorter died in 1926 and Shorter & Son Ltd continued under the management of brothers Arthur ‘Colley’ Shorter and John Shorter, and Harry L. Steele. Colley Shorter died in 1964 and the business was acquired by S.Fielding & Co. Ltd (Crown Devon).

The arrival of Colley Shorter saw a change in direction in manufacturing for Shorter & Son, from domestic earthenware to wonderfully colourful novelty and ornamental products.

1930's Shorter & Son Pink Wild Rose Preserve Jar
1930’s Shorter & Son Pink Wild Rose Preserve Jar

Their main claim to fame were the renowned designers Mabel Leigh and the infamous Clarice Cliff, whom worked at the A.J. Wilkinson factory.

Mabel Leigh Pagoda Cottage

In 1927/8 Clarice Cliff designed the handpainted ‘Bizarre Ware’ pottery range. The name for the range was chosen by Colley Shorter whom married Clarice Cliff in 1940 after the death of his first wife.

Clarice Cliff ‘Red Picasso’ Bizarre Range

 

There has been much speculation as to whether or not this fish range of tableware was actually designed by Clarice Cliff.

1930s Shorter & Son Staffordshire Pottery Set of Three Fish plates
1930’s Shorter & Son Staffordshire Pottery Set of Three Fish plates

Shorter & Son Ltd trade names include ’Batavia Ware’ and ‘Sunray Pottery’.

The Shorter& son maker’s backmark comprised variations of a printed ‘Shorter & Son Ltd, Stoke-on-Trent, England.’  

1930's Shorter & Son Pink Wild Rose Preserve Jar
1930’s Shorter & Son Printed Back Mark

It is strange, to me at least, that many of us have heard the name Clarice Cliff but few of us have heard of Shorter & Son or their wonderful pottery. I hope this short blog goes some way towards remedying that!

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