I am opening a new thread on this book as I inadvertently tagged it on to Comprehensively Clarice Cliff by Louis K. Meisel (A missed review from the author of 'The Bizarre Affair') thread earlier today.
As we know, Comprehensively Clarice Cliff has received rave reviews from nearly all on this site - including comments from me, but having flicked through 'The Colourful World of Clarice Cliff' after not opening its cover for over a year, made me realise just what a great book it is, in particular view to the very clever composite shots of rare shapes, fancies & patterns as well as good cover of the more readily available pieces. A really good book to give anyone an insight to what 'Clarice' was all about.
Added by Moderator:
The Colourful World of Clarice Cliff
by Howard Watson, Pat Watson, and Francis Salmon (Paperback - Jun 1997)
Publisher. Francis Joseph £16.95
ISBN: 1870703189 / 1-870703-18-9
This book is one of a number from the same publishers who also do books on other collectable ceramics. I have never rated them that highly myself and found the price guides particularly irritating as they are far from accurate. Their books on clarice are also now a little out of date with regard pattern names and dates and many started off with mistakes.
I suppose they had their place in the scheme of things but at a similar price 'The Bizarre Affair' was much the better book.
The Colourful World of Clarice Cliff was only really a rehash of an earlier publication from the Watson's and even in 1997 was considered out of date by many.
When the books first came out they were, along with The Bizarre Affair, the only dedicated CC books available to collectors but unlike Meisel's book did not stand the test of time and I personally thought the republication of these titles was a bit of a mistake. There were a couple of other titles in the Watson series, in particular one on Carlton Ware which broke new ground for collectors and still have some value today.
Including guides to price were a huge mistake as it is in any book which wants a long shelf life.
Perhaps the inclusion of a price guide wasn't such a bad idea - to say new collectors like me a couple of years ago would be floundering without this rough guide is an understatement.
Categories 1,2,3. stay quite static, eg.Honolulu against Beechwood.
I know exactly what you mean Phil but would say that auction guides and in particularly results offer a better guide than most of those published in books which can so quickly go out of date.
Stephen & Alistair,
I couldn't agree more with what you have to say about The Bizarre Affair - a superb publication.
An interesting observation on books that include price guides Phil, I had never really considered them as being beneficial toward new collectors before but concede you may have a good point.
I confess I found the idea of categorising patterns and shapes to judge their market value useful when I started collecting.
Then I started wondering where the categories came from and moved onto realising that such books had cast some collectors' opinions in stone. e.g. Why is Gibraltar such a highly rated pattern? I have never got it. OK the boats are cute but that is as far as it goes. The colour palette is positively insipid.
Such fixed opinions proved to be useful to me, because patterns I valued more highly were not considered 'first rate', remained in my price range and I managed to buy them.
I think collectors' 'outgrow' books like 'The Colourful World of Clarice Cliff'. That is unlikely to happen with 'The Bizarre Affair', which to me is the best 'to read' book about Clarice Cliff and 'Comprehensively', which is the best reference book.
Doug & Moira,
I bought a few of her books to give me invaluable help when I first got the 'bug'
& perhaps like some other new collectors I did get a bit carried away to start with. I knew absolutely nothing about her until repeatedly seeing & hearing about her pieces on 'Flog It'. It's for this reason I needed to know roughly what pieces were worth eg. A Rhodanthe athens jug against one in Summerhouse.
But as we all know the price of ANY piece is governed by who wants/can afford it the most.
I learn more & more every day about all aspects of her wares & extreme rareity seems to be the issue that pushes prices through the roof - I know it's an ace piece but I am still amazed how the 20cm.Sunspots vase went for £17,000.00 net at Christies last year.
I am sorry but the title is 10 years old and very out of date. Not only with prices but also pattern names and beyond a few pictures I do not see what use it is to collectors today.
Maybe the new price guide from Andrew Casey is the one to wait for.
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