Moorcroft mania: six examples to buy on thesaleroom.com09 December 2019 While elements of the market have undoubtedly lost some zip in the past decade, the familiar tube-lined designs of Moorcroft pottery remain enormously popular. Indeed 'Moorcroft' remains among the most searched-for terms on thesaleroom.com.
Pictured here is a selection of pieces that - at a range of price levels - span elements of the factory history from an early 20th century pattern in the Art Nouveau taste to one of the many affordable 21st century designs.
The first period of Moorcroft production dates from 1897 to 1912 when William Moorcroft (1872-1945) was heading the ornamental ware department of the commercial pottery and porcelain firm of James Macintyre & Co. It was during this time that the technique of trailing slip known as tube-lining was perfected and the Art Nouveau-influenced Florian Ware was launched. Typical of the Moorcroft MacIntyre era is this 5.5in (13.5cm) Cornflower pattern vase (pictured above) with both printed factory marks and Moorcroft’s hand-painted signature to the base. It has an estimate of £300-500 at Adam Partridge in Macclesfield on December 12-13.
View and bid for this Moorcroft MacIntyre vase on thesaleroom.com.
Moorcroft for Liberty
Much of the Moorcroft output was sold through Liberty & Co - an arrangement formalised by financial backing when William Moorcroft opened an art pottery of his own in 1912 on Sandbach Road, Cobridge.
A range of Moorcroft wares were produced applied with period metalwares provided by the London department store. Moorcroft is found with pewter (Tudric) and occasionally silver mounts. This tazza decorated in typical palette with the classic Pomegranate pattern has a pewter base stamped Tudric Moorcroft. Estimate £200-300 at Martel Maides in St Peter Port, Guernsey on December 11-12.
View and bid for this Moorcroft Tudric pewter tazza on thesaleroom.com.
Moorcroft in Canada
Moorcroft pottery was exported to all of the English-speaking countries with Canada and Australia particularly important markets. Both are great places to find Moorcroft today. This 3.5in (9cm) vase, that carries an estimate of Can$150-250 at a Waddington’s timed online sale in Toronto closing on December 12, is in the Dawn pattern (issued 1926-30). It one of a series of tubelined landscape designs that won the Moorcroft factory acclaim at the Paris exhibition of 1925 for wares reflecting the style of the Art Deco period.
View and bid for this Moorcroft dawn small vase on thesaleroom.com.
Potter to the Queen
The mark ‘Potter To HM The Queen’ to the base of this 9in (22.5cm) vase dates it to the period from 1928-36. It is in the popular Leaf and Berry pattern that was a staple from the late 1920s well into the post-war era when the factory was run by William Moorcroft’s son Walter (1917-2002). Estimate £120-150 at Halls of Shrewsbury on December 11.
View and bid for this Moorcroft leaf and berry vase on thesaleroom.com.
As a general rule it is the pieces made during the tenures of William Moorcroft and his son Walter which are most sought after by Moorcroft collectors. However, some more modern editions made under later periods of ownership can bring substantial sums. This large 2ft 4in (69cm) Finches pattern vase is one of a number of impressive pieces made by the ceramicist Sally Tuffin (b.1938) during the period 1986-93. Most Tuffin wares are signed and dated with this vase, with flambé colours, inscribed for June 1990. Estimate £1500-2000 at Byrne’s of Chester on December 11.
View and bid for this large Moorcroft Finches vase by Sally Tuffin on thesaleroom.com.
Rag Doll Anna
Plenty of recent issues from the Moorcroft Design Studio, made still using the trademark tube-lining technique, come to the secondary market priced below £100. Just as with the earlier pieces, pattern, shape, size, ground colours, glaze type and the quality of execution are all important factors when considering value. This 5in (13cm) high vase in the Rag Doll Anna Pattern has an estimate of £40-60 at Pilton Auction in Barnstable, Devon on December 14. The vase, in its original box, is marked to the base with the name of the designer Sian Leeper, the date 2002 and the edition number 51 of 350 pieces.
View and bid for this Moorcroft pottery vase in the rag doll Anna pattern on thesaleroom.com.