This week we are sharing pieces from our collection of George Clews "Blue Chameleonware" Art Deco ceramics made in England in the Twenties and Thirties.
Just before World War One, George Clews created their new, decorative Chameleonware line—whose roll-out had to be delayed due to the onset of the fighting. After the war, production resumed and proved enormously successful through the Twenties and Thirties. In fact, at times, Chameleionware represented 80% of George Clews's total sales. In the 1930's, the company added a line of sculpted ceramic animals including a frog and a chameleon (which is extra popular amongst collectors today).
It was a war which delayed the Chameleonware line at the start. Alas, it was another war which killed Chameleonware altogether. When World War Two began in 1939, the production of discretionary items (like flamboyantly hand-painted vases) was restricted. George Clews was allowed to continue making teapots—national necessities that they were. But 1939 marked the end of the profitable, signature line which is associated with the company to this day. After the war, the company struggled along. The nature of the ceramics industry was changed fundamentally after the war. Labor-intensive production (which was required with pottery-making) shifted from the victor countries (England, the U.S.) to the vanquished countries (Germany, Japan)—where large numbers of people needed work, labor costs were less expensive, and economies needed a jumpstart (fast!). The company was shuttered altogether in 1961.
The tapering trumpet bud vase, shown above, is finished in handsome, organic glazes of cornflower blues and mossy greens. Click on the photo above to learn more about this piece. Or click here to see an assortment of Chameleonware pieces currently on-offer in the LEO Design on-line store.
More Chameleonware pottery tomorrow and in the days to come.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248