Edna Best Art Deco Ceramics

The likes of Clarice Cliff, working for Wilkinson’s, are an obvious influence upon Edna Best's endorsement of Art Deco ceramics produced exclusively for Lawley's china retail store of Regent Street, London in the 1930's.

Edna Best teaset Edna Best plates

Edna Best Art Deco teaset in pattern 1144 and brightly coloured banded plates

The widespread use of geometric designs and bold ‘slabs’ of bright colour emulate the ‘Bizarre’ range launched by Clarice Cliff, though Edna’s endorsements have a distinct design quality of their own exemplified by the meticulous application of the paint. Banded wares are reminiscent of the design by Susie Cooper. Output is stamped ‘Edna Best Art Wares, Exclusively To Lawley's’. Lawley's was a Regent Street retail outlet in London which exclusively sold Edna’s signature wares.

Edna Best teapot Edna Best Art Deco candlestick

In the 1930's it was normal for department stores to get fashionable writers, artists and film stars to endorse glamorous British design. Lawley's stocked Clarice Cliff and they asked her to design a Stamford coffee set for them, with their distinctive backstamp on it, she declined so they went ahead and commissioned a mould to be made by a Stoke Pottery. They sourced ex-workers and one of the Clarice Cliff Bizarre paintresses from the Newport Pottery. They went into production secretly and launched Edna Best Art wear with a big society splash. Colley Shorter (the husband of Clarice Cliff) was livid and threatened to sue. An agreement was reached stipulating that no more Stamford Coffee sets would be made and the Shorters dropped the case against Lawley's. Consequently very few coffee sets survived, though rumour has it that the Shorters purchased as many as they could find and destroyed them.

Edna Best sandwich tray pattern number 1143

Edna Best sandwich tray pattern number 1143, 32cm x 13.5cm

Edna Best wares retailed by Lawley's are typically tea and coffee sets, dinnerware and sometimes items such as biscuit barrels, candle sticks, vases and ginger jars. The tea pot featured above displays the pattern number 1144 which is shown below alongside the Pearl Pottery mark.

Edna Best Lawley's mark Pearl Pottery Burslem mark with pattern number 1144

The Edna Best, Lawley's mark and the Pearl Pottery Burslem mark

These ceramics were manufactured in the Staffordshire Potteries at the Pearl Pottery, Burslem. There are examples of Pearl Pottery Art Deco wares in the same shape as the Edna Best's ranges and indeed some Edna Best sets shared the Edna Best base stamp and the Pearl Pottery mark. The Pearl Pottery Burslem Ltd operated between 1930 and 1942 (not to be confused with the Pearl Pottery of Hanley).

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Art Deco For Sale
Our Vintage Arts website usually has a number of items of art deco for sale.