Footballing legend Jimmy Greaves’ collection of Clarice Cliff ceramics is one of the highlights of the Clarice Cliff and Art Deco Auction at Woolley and Wallis Salisbury Salerooms on 9 March 2011.
Jimmy Greaves joined Chelsea Football Club as a schoolboy in 1955, and after scoring 114 goals in one year in the youth team, he signed professional terms in 1957. After a brief spell at AC Milan he joined Tottenham in 1961 for £99,999, a fee arranged by his manager Bill Nicholson so as not to burden him with being the first £100,000 player. He won the FA Cup twice with Tottenham and was a key member of the England squad in the late 1950s and 1960s – scoring 44 goals in 57 internationals. His links with ceramics can be traced back to his first professional tour to Holland where he bought some Delft as a present for his parents, a trinket which he has kept to this day. His collecting of Clarice Cliff post dates his football career.
The collection includes a full range of Clarice’s output including vases, plates, conical sugar sifters and a full Crocus tea set. The collection comprises 43 pieces, and goes to auction with estimates ranging from £50 to £1200.
Clarice Cliff was the most prolific and possibly important Art Deco ceramics designer. Born in Staffordshire in 1899, she served an apprenticeship at A.J.Wilkinson’s Burslem factory. Her most famous work is probably her 'Bizarre' ware designed between 1928 and 1936.
The Art Deco Auction also includes artworks by Dodo Burgner, a German Jew who was forced to flee Nazi Germany in 1936. Doerte (Dodo) Clara Burgner, the daughter of Erich Wolff, worked on the German satirical magazine Ulk in the 1920s and 1930s. Her style mixes both the opulence of the theatre-going, cocktail-drinking elite with the more sinister sides of German 1930’s society. Ulk was closed by the Nazis in 1933 and Dodo fled to London where she was followed by her husband and family two years later.