Moorcroft Pottery dating question
Early in his employment at Macintyre's, William Moorcroft created designs for the company's Aurelian Ware transfer-printed wares enamelled in red, blue and gold followed soon afterwards by Florian Ware that combined Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts forms and natural motifs with the technique known as tube-lining that has been used in almost all of Moorcroft's art pottery ever since.
Among the Macintyre ranges were Poppy , the Hazeldene landscapes with trees , Claremont with its toadstool motif , Tudor Rose and the largely monochromatic Flamminian Ware showing Moorcroft's growing interest in the use of lustre glazes. Pomegranate , Spanish of the same year and Pansy , along with Wisteria , all showed a subtle change of direction, while landscapes like Moonlight Blue , Eventide and Dawn won acclaim at the Paris Exhibition of for wares reflecting the style of the Art Deco period.
Alongside these, the factory also produced an extensive array of moderately-priced blue-glazed domestic tableware.
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The Powder Blue range, made in largely traditional shapes from until , was used in Liberty's subterranean cafe. As some patterns enjoyed long cross-period production runs, dating Moorcroft can be difficult. The seasoned eye can date a piece by design, glaze and technique of manufacture but the wide variety of impressed and printed marks and if they survive factory paper labels, used across more than a century of production do make the task much easier. The literature is particularly good on these but the best pieces are signed.
With the advent of the Florian range in , William Moorcroft took responsibility for all aspects of production and firing and almost every piece carried his hand-painted signature. In William Moorcroft's son, Walter Moorcroft joined the firm and introduced many of his own styles and designs into the catalogue after he took the reins of the company in Most of the big flower patterns such as Hibiscus, Anemone, Magnolia, Lilies and Columbine are from the Walter Moorcroft period of vivid floral designs.
But slowly the market diminished and although Walter Moorcroft continued to design into the s his last, Rock of Ages, was launched in , the Moorcroft family sold most of their shares in Today the company boasts that Moorcroft is selling more of its wares than it did in its heyday of the mids.
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While auction prices fluctuate, Moorcroft remains enormously popular with a broad range of buyers from the English-speaking nations and beyond. Generally, while recently-made pieces are widely collected, and some of the modern limited edition pieces or those from the Sally Tuffin era can bring substantial sums, it is the Walter and particularly the William Moorcroft signed and designed pieces which are most sought after.
These are distinguished by date, pattern, shape, size, ground colours and by glaze type. Pieces with condition issues will also meet a more measured response. A lot of this production was to do with utilitarian function such as table ware Thereafter he moved to Cobridge and arguably produce the Art pottery for which Moorcroft is defined by the most discerning collectors around the world.
His style initially embraced the Art Nouveau period and though it evolved into a more contemporary form it still kept the organic flowing concept of the Nouveau period.
The finish glaze was mostly a deep gloss or a semi matt or a salt glaze. Sometimes pewter or silver mounts were applied. The vases are classic shapes with or without lip or foot. Shapes are often classic or Oriental inspired such as the Meiping vase shape. Pewter or silver mounts were used sometimes.
A Guide to Moorcroft Marks and identifying dates for Moorcroft Pottery.
These were often made for Liberty and can give them more authority. This is often personal but the most desirable consist of beautifully executed works which harmonise the shape colour and design. Claremont Toadstool,Watatah and Landscape designs are at the top as well as the Spanish and Fish designs Value depends on the number of fish on the piece. It could be too dark or too light. So collecting requires an eye.
Its just not a pat off thing. Salt glaze is generally not for the true collector, whilst a sheen matt together good subject matter may be okay.
All pottery produced is subject to chipping or damaged. It is then often invisibly repaired.
Moorcroft Pottery - Date marks on Moorcroft Pottery
If this is the case and the piece is very rare then this may not matter,because the rareness and difficult to obtain. Damage to any collectable pottery drops the value, sometimes dramatically. Generally repaired Moorcroft is not desirable and difficult to sell on.