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

An image of Serving dish and cover

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Object information

Titles

'Fish set' serving dish and cover

Maker(s)

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

Description

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.

Notes

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

Relative size of this object

26.6 cm11 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Place(s) associated

  • Stoke-on-Trent ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

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

Dating

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

Note

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

Decoration

Materials used in production

Glaze Earthenware

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

  • Text: SHORTER / ENGLAND
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Mark
  • Text: SHORTER & SON LTD./STOKE-ON-TRENT,/ENGLAND.
  • 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: Sunday 21 March 2021

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 (2022) "'Fish set' serving dish and cover" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/74082 Accessed: 2022-05-24 21:53:27

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/74082 |title='Fish set' serving dish and cover |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-05-24 21:53:27|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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                        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">'Fish set' serving dish and cover</figcaption>
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