Clarice Cliff 'bachelor' tea set designed by Frank Brangwyn – £2800 at Hansons.

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The Artists in Industry earthenwares were produced under her direction, and the artists included such notable names as Duncan Grant, Paul Nash, Barbara Hepworth and Vanessa Bell.

The project Modern Art for the Table (prompted by the Prince of Wales) was launched at Harrods, London, in October 1934 but received a mixed response with few of the designs, made as part of the Bizarre range, enjoying any great longevity.

The most successful was the Circus range of tablewares designed by Dame Laura Knight in her distinctive linear style. Royal Academician Frank Brangwyn’s contribution was a floral-decorated Iris pattern ‘bachelor’ tea set to a geometric shape.

An example of this rarity came for sale at Hansons (25% buyer’s premium) in Etwall, Derbyshire, on April 15 where it sold at £2800.

Brangwyn’s best-known design for Clarice Cliff are the series of three wall chargers decorated with scenes taken from The British Empire Panels designed for the Royal Gallery of the House of Lords in 1925.

Chinese competition


First Period Worcester blue and white dessert service c.1770-75 – £3700 at Hansons.

Hansons’ sale in Bishton Hall in Staffordshire on April 9 included a rather different part service: 14 pieces of a First Period Worcester blue and white dessert service c.1770-75.

The hand-painted pattern is known as the Kangxi Lotus pattern as it copies Chinese exemplars and includes a pseudo-Chinese mark (an open lozenge, symbol of victory) to the base. At the time Worcester was in direct competition with porcelain exported from the Far East.

Prices of £100-500 apiece are the norm for pieces of this design but rarely has a set survived intact.

This one included two tureens, covers, stands and ladles, an open-work basket, four kidney-shaped dishes, three circular dishes in two sizes, two oval dessert dishes and a further large serving dish – just one piece showing significant damage. Estimated at £1200-1500, it took £3700.