Blue and White Tablescape

Hello.  How is your weekend going?  I have been able to catch up on a few things around here and even had a little time to work on a vignette and put together a vintage inspired blue and white tablescape that I have been meaning to do for a while.  So I picked up my camera and off I went to create a little feast for the eyes.

I was inspired by my Royal Staffordshire Clarice Cliff vintage china in the Charlotte blue and white pattern.  This china was made in England and was designed by one of the most influential ceramics artist of the 20th century, Clarice Cliff.  The original drawings for this pattern date back to 1830.  My intention was to capture its delicate beauty and loveliness with my camera.  I added touches of lavender which to me turned out to be the perfect partnership.  Vintage silver plate flatware found at flea markets, etched glass goblets and a crisp white table cloth completed the look.

Is easy to imagine the many festive tables this exquisite china once dressed.  Such an intriguing glimpse of the past from the perspective of the families who once shared a few meals with such treasures.

I invite you to delight in the timeless appeal of vintage china.  This is my inspiration for creating a vintage style blue and white table.
Thank you for visiting.



















































































Brief history of Clarice Cliff’s The Designer of this Magnificent  Vintage China
 


 
 
Clarice Cliff is, today, regarded as one of the most influential ceramics artists of the 20th Century and her work is collected, valued and admired the World over.
 
 
Clarice Cliff was born in January 1899 in Tunstall, Staffordshire and died in Newcastle-under-Lyme in October 1972. The fourth of eight children of an iron-moulder, Clarice Cliff started working at the age of 13 as an apprentice enameller. At 17 she joined A. J. Wilkinson's Royal Staffordshire Pottery as a lithographer, where her drawing ability was soon noticed. She attended evening classes at Burslem School of Art from 1924-1925 and studied sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 1927, but returned after only a few months to set up a small studio in Wilkinson's Newport Pottery, decorating traditional white-ware.


In 1927/8 a market testing of 60 dozen pieces of "Bizarre Ware" was organised by Colley Shorter. Wilkinson's salesmen were shocked by the extreme boldness of Miss Cliffs designs and further astonished by the rapidity with which they sold. Handpainted Bizarre, the name chosen by Colley Shorter, the managing director of Wilkinson's, to cover the whole range, was launched. In 1930 she was made Art Director of the firm and in 1940, following the death of his first wife, she married Colley Shorter.

 
The enthusiasm which greeted Bizarre generated a burst of creative activity. By 1931 Miss Cliff was supervising a workforce of up to 1000 at the Newport Pottery, with 150 boys and girls trained in the decorating shop, producing new modern shapes and designs.
 
 
Between 1932 and 1934 Miss Cliff became involved in an historic but short lived attempt to combine the forces of the Pottery and Glass Industries and contemporary artists. Thomas Acland Fennemore, Art Director of E. Brain & Company, Foley China, together with the artist Graham Sutherland and the designer Milner Gray, invited leading artists of the day (themselves included) to contribute designs to be made in bone china by Foley and in earthenware by Wilkinson's. Miss Cliff had misgivings and insisted the list be extended to include other artists with a more popular appeal, such as Laura Knight and Frank Brangwyn. Although most of the artists concerned merely decorated blanks, with which they were supplied, Laura Knight was able to design her own shapes, known as Circus. The completed designs toured the country, having been shown first at the Harrods Exhibition of 1934.
 
 
During the 1930's, and to reflect changing tastes, the patterns and shapes produced by Wilkinson's were to vary greatly, and in 1935/6 the Bizarre umbrella name was dropped; pieces then being marked Clarice Cliff. With the outbreak of war in 1939, creative output of the factory ceased, with much of the workforce being drafted into the Armed Forces.
 
 
Wartime restrictions on decorated pottery were to continue into the 1950's and the factory was never to produce pottery in the style or quantity of the pre-war period. Much of the design work was to pass into other hands, with Clarice and Colley spending less time at the factory and more time travelling and promoting the wares of A. J. Wilkinson.
 
 
In 1961, Colley was to fall ill and he died in 1963. Clarice Cliff decided the time had come to retire and the factory sites were sold in August 1964 to Midwinter's, thus ceasing the production of all original Clarice Cliff wares. With the factory site sold, there was to be no successor to Clarice Cliff and the production of original Clarice Cliff ended.
 
 
W.R. Midwinter's merged with Meakins in 1968, who in turn were absorbed by the Wedgwood group in 1970. The factory sites have now been redeveloped for housing.
 
 
In 1971, Clarice Cliff was acknowledged as a major art deco designer by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, when a large number of her pieces were included in their influential World of Art Deco Exhibition. With interest rising in her pre-war work, later in 1971, Miss Cliff was persuaded to write her own memoirs. Sadly age had started to affect her memory and some of the information Miss Cliff wrote is we now know inaccurate.
 
 
In October 1972, Miss Cliff died at Chetwynd House, her home since 1940. She was found by her gardener sitting in her favourite chair listening to the radio.
 
  

Comments

  1. Simply elegant!! I love the combination with the lavender and blue.
    You have created an amazing tablescape with that gorgeous china.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
    Angela

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  2. What an amazing tablescape! I love your dishes, they are so pretty and I especially love your silver! The roses set in your silver cofee/teapots are simply spectacular and of course your flatware is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Oh my, this is so beautiful. I love the silver and crystal. So elegant and using the coffee and tea pots for the roses is stunning. Very pretty. Hugs, Marty

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  4. This is one of the prettiest tables I have ever seen...I ♥ Clarice Cliff china (I have the Tonquin pattern)...Charlotte is such a beautiful pattern. Lavender with blue is so striking. Your crystal is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing, Janet.

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    1. Hello Marigene. What a sweet and kind comment. Thank you very much. Clarice Cliff was such a talented artist. I love many of her designs. They are highly collected today. Thanks again for visiting.

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  5. This is so very pretty and delicate, love the colors and the china!!

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  6. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Love Clarice Cliff. I used to have one of her muugs but it got broken :( J

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    1. Thank you very much Julie. I too love the designs by Clarice Cliff. She was an amazing talent. We are lucky to still find some of her creations to enjoy.

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  7. Beautiful tablescape, everything about it, starting from the gorgeous dinner china, the flatware is lovely too. Have a great week.
    FABBY

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  8. Oh, so pretty! Love the blue and white! Just a beautiful table and inspiration.

    Great to have you at Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

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  9. I love the touch of lavender with it..It looks so pretty and the lavender Roses in the Silver is beautiful. Gorgeous!!! Have a wonderful Monday with love Janice

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  10. That is so beautiful-I love the blue and white china. The roses look so elegant in the silver tea/coffee pots.

    Take care,
    Carolyn

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    1. Thank you Carolyn. That pattern by Clarice Cliff is my favorite. I am lucky to have some pieces in the purple color too. I love to use silver pots for flowers. I think they are perfect together.

      Hugs,

      Janet

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  11. What an elegant table setting, Janet! I have never seen that pattern by Clarice Cliff, but I can certainly see why it is your favorite. I love your beautiful stemware, too.

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  12. I know so much more than I did earlier this evening. Thank you for that. I would have never known any of this. Your table is so elegant and beautiful. The dishes are quite lovely and marry well with the lavender flowers and napkin. So happy I dropped in. blessings, xo marlis

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    1. Hi Marlis,

      Your visit makes me very happy and your kind words are truly appreciated. I am glad to nkow that you learned a little something with my post. I do love these dishes mixed with a touch of lavender. They blend perfectly. I am glad you stopped by.

      Huigs,

      Janet

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  13. How elegant! This table is full of pretty, soft details. The pearl napkin rings are a lovely touch, and your Charlotte dishes are absolutely gorgeous. Charlotte is one of my favorite patterns. I have a few pieces in the brown and am always on the watch to add more. My latest piece is a small cow creamer that I found at Round Top last week.

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  14. Your table is so elegant, Janet. I love the lavender roses in the silver coffee/tea pots! We have the same napkin rings. Your Charlotte china is gorgeous and I really enjoy reading the history on it. Thank you so much for sharing at my HOME and enjoy your weekend.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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  15. Beautiful table. The china is gorgeous and your table is just stunning. Thank you for sharing your talents with all of us!

    Linda

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    1. Thank you Linda. Your sweet words make me very happy.

      Janet

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  16. Gorgeous... just gorgeous! I love that pattern and wish that my aunt had chosen something like this. I feel guilty not using her china but the colors are bold and too colors painted on it. Not sure what to do about it all. But the use of a single color just delights me. I also have a question.. would you tell me about your chargers? I love.. love.. love them!! Wonderful post and thanks for sharing.

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  17. Your tablescape is gorgeous! Pretty plates and beautiful flowers too, I am so in love with those plate chargers so I finally bought them on sale at Pier 1 but have not used them. I hope my table is as pretty as yours when I use them....Christine

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  18. Lovely. A great color scheme and those charger plates especially give it such an unusual twist. Thanks for linking up.
    p

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  19. You have done it again! You will be one of the features at the Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see your prettiness again at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

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  20. This is gorgeous in every way! I will be featuring your post in this week's Home and Garden Thursday,
    Kathy

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  21. So beautiful! Love the pop of the napkin, and the flowers are gorgeous!

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  22. Lovely! I enjoy plates and china also.

    http://jeanneselep.blogspot.com/2013/04/spring-hutch-arrangement.html

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  23. So pretty and I love the purple with blue.

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