Antiquités Roadshow expert in awe of the mask of Clarice Cliff with a “magical” story | Television and radio | Show biz & TV


Antiques Roadshow visited the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth for a previous episode of the hit BBC show. Antiques expert Steven Moore was in awe when a guest brought a unique Clarice Cliff mask to the show. The owner revealed that the mask has a special history within her family.

Holding the mask in front of viewers, Steven said, “Looking at this mask closely, I can see two names.

“We have a name that most people know, Clarice Cliff. But, there’s also this other name here modeled by Esme M Bailey.

“You can tell me who it is, can’t you?” He asked the owner.

She replied, “Yes, she’s my mom actually. She was 18 when she modeled this.

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“She went to art school and her father, my grandfather, had a shop in Bristol that sold Clarice Cliff items.

“So she was taken to Stoke-On-Trent for about two weeks and went to Clarice Cliff’s studio and got a piece of clay and said, ‘Go up and make something.’

“She made four masks and then came home and about two or three weeks later he came back with the other three,” said the owner.

However, she confessed that her mother was not impressed with the masks when she saw their finished look for the first time.

Eager to learn more, Steve remarked, “Your mother had to be a pretty groovy woman to host, I guess, what we would call an internship today with Clarice Cliff, who was really very famous at the time and very fashionable.

After hearing how the masks had already been sold at a clearance sale, Steve asked, “How come you got this one?

The owner explained that her mother has always regretted not having kept the masks.

Speaking further about her mother, the owner said: “In 1998, she received a phone call from a friend saying that one of the masks was up for auction.

“So my brothers and I said ‘You have to go down, you have to buy it no matter what it costs,” she said.

“What did she pay? Steve asked, with the owner responding, “£ 1,000. “

Steve commented: “Well I think £ 1,000 is a fair price. But, how can you put money on these memories? “

The owner agreed, “Not at all, you can’t. It’s so magical really.

“It’s a very magical special item,” Steve added, before thanking the owner for bringing the mask.

Antiques Roadshow is available on BBC iPlayer.

About Oscar L. Smith

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