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Clarice Cliff Transferware

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Here’s everything you need to know about CLARICE CLIFF TRANSFERWARE.

I found this set of china at a local antique store about a month after I purchased the cottage. Thankfully, I flipped one of the plates over to look at the hallmark. My heart skipped a beat: Clarice Cliff transferware. Sweet!

Claric Cliff Tonquin Hallmark

Transferware is the term used for pottery or china pieces decorated by transfer printing. Not surprising, the process was developed in England in the mid-18th century, around the Staffordshire region. Manufacturers include Enoch Wood, Royal Staffordshire, Royal Crownford, Spode, Johnson Brothers, and many more.

Hallmark for Johnson Bros.

Head HERE for a list of various, highly popular transferware patterns.

A Johnson Brothers plate

The process starts with an engraved copper plate, similar to those used by stationers for paper engravings. This copper plate imprints a pattern onto tissue paper. With the ink still wet, the printed tissue paper is laid onto the ceramic surface which transfers the image. The ceramic pieces are then fired in a kiln at low temperature which sets the pattern. It’s fired a second time after the glaze has been applied. Seriously, who knew?

Here’s the deal on this pattern:

Clarice Cliff Transferware

This service designed by Clarice Cliff for Royal Staffordshire and is called Tonquin. Other patterns include Rural Scenes, Peaceful Summer and Charlotte. Unlike this NOVELTY TEAPOT, also designed by Clarice Cliff, it was made for the masses. Love that it comes in a wide range of colours including: blue, brown, red, green, black, and the distinctive mulberry.

Close up of a large serving platter

I’ll go on record admitting thatI love it! My friends make fun of me for having “Gramma Plates”, but I don’t mind. They reflect a vintage cottage vibe, right?

Crazing in a tea cup

Here are some tips on what to look for when you start collecting transferware:

Clarice Cliff Transferware


Buy a complete set of dishes. Look for a pattern that reflects your tastes. Some patterns are busier than others so pick one that works for you. Also not a bad idea to shop around. You deserve a deal!

Detail of a plate


China services have a lot of pieces. Pick a pattern with lots of different pieces. Stuff like dinner, salad, dessert, and bread and butter plates. Let’s say it also comes with soup bowls, mugs, cups and saucers, and service pieces? Snap it up, that’s amazing!

Simple floral design in a fruit cup


If you already have a set of transferware, or a piece that you absolutely love, send us a photo to: I’ll create a little member gallery for everyone to enjoy!

Clarice Cliff Transferware – still stands the test of time!

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