Skip to main content

'Fish set' serving dish and cover: C.28 & A-1996

An image of Serving dish and cover

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Alternative views

Object information

Current Location: In storage


'Fish set' serving dish and cover


Production: Shorter & Son Ltd.
Designer: Cliff, Clarice (Probably)




Earthenware, glazed in matt apricot and green and painted with black enamel.

Slip-cast earthenware, oval in plan with curved sides rising to a projecting fish-shaped rim with head, tail and fins serving as handles. Slightly domed oval cover with an inward curve at the head end, an upright fin slightly moulded to fit the thumb as handle, and an underside rim which fits into the dish. The lower exterior of the dish has five wavy lines, representing waves. The top of the rim and cover are moulded with scales, and the right end of the rim with the fish's mouth, eye and gill. The whole piece is covered in a matt, apricot glaze, with pale green glaze lightly applied over on fins and tail. The pupil of the eye is painted black. There are three spur marks on the base, and three on the underside of the cover. The underside of the dish is recessed and glazed.


History note: Purchased from N.J. Zolman, 1996

Legal notes

Given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum

Measurements and weight

Height: 11.0 cm
Length: 26.6 cm
Width: 20.5 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Stoke-on-Trent ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1996) by The Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum


20th Century
Production date: circa AD 1935 : c. 1935


Another ‘fish set’ was produced by A J Wilkinson in the 1920s/30s. Marked as designed by Clarice Cliff, items in this series have a cream ground and are decorated with a relief, polychrome fish.

Clarice Cliff (1899-1972) joined the pottery industry at 13, as a paintress. She joined A J Wilkinson in 1916 as a lithographer, rising to become a modeller and shape designer. After local evening classes, she studied at the Royal College of Art. In 1929, A J Wilkinson introduced her colourful Art Deco ‘Bizarre’ series, which established her as a well-known designer. In 1940 she married Arthur Colley Shorter, the managing director, and through him became a major shareholder in the family group, founded in the 1870s, which comprised Wilkinson, Newport Pottery and Shorter & Son. Her younger sister Dolly Cliff also worked at Wilkinson’s, supervising a team of specialist decorators, and some of her designs were later issued under Clarice’s name.

‘Fish ware’, one of Shorter & Son’s most popular designs, was first introduced in the late 1920s or early 1930s. A version similar to the Fitzwilliam items, and attributed to Clarice Cliff, is illustrated in ‘The Quiver’, December 1936, described as ‘in a delicious matt cream glaze in pottery [with] only softly subdued turquoise fins as colour accent'. In the 1950s a high glaze version was produced, in various colourways.

School or Style

Art Deco

Components of the work


Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Slip-casting : Earthenware, slip-cast and decorated with coloured glazes.

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: near the foot-rim, on either side

  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Mark
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Greyish-black backstamp
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.28 & A-1996
Primary reference Number: 74082
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "'Fish set' serving dish and cover" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-19 15:39:33

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title='Fish set' serving dish and cover |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-19 15:39:33|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src=""
        alt="'Fish set' serving dish and cover"
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">'Fish set' serving dish and cover</figcaption>

More objects and works of art you might like

'Fish set' serving dish

Accession Number: C.30-1996

'Fish set' small dish

Accession Number: C.31-1996

'Fish set' small dish

Accession Number: C.35-1996

'Fish set' small dish

Accession Number: C.33-1996

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...