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My fascination with Clarice Cliff and Art Deco pottery, started with the purchase of a small damaged Cliff designed candlestick that I picked up for £25 at my local auction.
Since that day in 1989, my interest was piqued. Over a period of a few months, I read voraciously about Cliff, buying as many books about her as possible.
I visited various art deco fairs, keeping an eye out for Cliff ware and managed to snap up a few small damaged pieces. By 1990, I began selling during my first fair in a hotel close to where I live. Even to sell just a couple of pieces was exciting – I remember taking about £150 and from that moment, I was hooked. Much has changed since those early days and my business has blossomed. Before technological advances, I spent my time attending every Art Deco fair around the country, between 20-30 a year, selling mainly Clarice Cliff and good quality art deco items – the demand was very strong. But in reality what I needed was a shop to sell to an audience and with the birth of eBay in 1997 – everything changed. Suddenly, I was buying and selling anywhere in the world, as the art deco market continued to be strong, the business simply organically grew.
Not surprisingly I’ve picked up lots of clients around the world (with many becoming great friends along the way). I’m very proud to be heavily involved in building the world's best Clarice Cliff collections, from the UK to South Africa, USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand – and most corners of the globe. As a specialist in this field, my knowledge is deeply encyclopaedic and I’m often consulted on to advise television programme makers to insurance companies, fairs organisers and auction houses or writers of books on rarity, dates, conditions and values.
Today eBay is a bit of minefield, so I prefer to concentrate on the top end of the market. I love selling the very best of pieces and over the years have built up an impressively large client base. My focus is to continue with top quality stock and excellent quality photography of all stock pieces. When purchasing expensive items of pottery, as a buyer you need reassurance – and confidence in the vendor. That’s why it’s important to me that all my pieces for sale are 100% accurate in the description. Luckily, I can count hundreds of very happy customers all over the world as testament to authentic buying.
You can’t beat fairs and meeting people face-to-face as there is no substitute for actually seeing and handling a piece. So I still attend fairs around the UK to offer buyers a close-up and personal buying experience. I know all too well how buying from an online auction can easily turn into nightmare episode. I also sell on eBay using the name daisy-jack (my children's names) as it’s an excellent way to promote my business and in turn increase my turnover. The art deco fair circuit has declined over the last few years, but the larger general fairs, such as the thrice yearly NEC in Birmingham is a magnet for me and I’ll always still on the lookout for new fairs.
My latest website is another step into harnessing a wider audience. In addition to the wonderfully talented Clarice Cliff, my other specialism since 1995 is selling Moorcroft pottery. My website also enables me to promote and sell plenty of other great ceramics, as it’s a great PR and marketing tool.
My passion and interest in art continues to grow, so keep your eyes peeled for new ceramics added into my collections - you may be surprised in an unexpected way.
And remember, just get in touch with me any time. It’s always to great to talk pottery.