Art Deco Chameleon Ware Bowl by Clews & Co.


Art Deco period ceramic bowl from the Clews & Co Chameleon Ware range

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There are many bits and pieces of assorted ceramics which lead the brain automatically to the words “Art Deco” and this Chameleon Ware bowl is one such bit (or piece). The style is intrinsically placed into the 1930s, a period in which some of the geometric edges has been softened and a more organic form came back into fashion. This bowl was made by (George) Clews & Co pottery, a Staffordshire company base in Tunstall which has become synonymous with Art Deco; the 1920s and 30s being their most innovative and successful trading period. They finally ceased trading in 1961.

So what gives this piece that classic Art Deco feel? firstly the glaze, this bowl has a distinctive satin glaze, under-painted by hand; a style commonly associated with Shelley and Beswick but which became the “go-to” texture of the period. This particular bowl has what I think of as a truncated globe shape, generously proportioned but with a flattened bottom and short, vertical rim. The design of autumnal coloured trefoil leaves on a mottled blue background was called “fire-leaf” and consists of the colourway “flame on powder blue”. The design was instituted in the 30s and this bowl dates to around 1935 or 1936. Fully marked with an artists signature “L.R.Y” and edition number (though these are hard to trace due to the sheer numbers of artists working for the company.


I have very little to say on this matter. The bowl remains intact with clear markings and no chips or cracks. The glaze is perfect with no evidence of “crazing” and the colouration is vivid and clean.


  • 2.75 inches (7 cm) tall
  • 4.25 inches (11 cm) wide
  • 2.6 inches (6.5 cm) base diameter
  • 3 inches (7.8 cm) aperture

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