Moorcroft – Oranges & Blossoms Vase
Oranges & Blossoms Vase. Circa 2010. Designed by Rachel Bishop.
Shop 29 – Old Technology – at Morpeth Antique Centre has an amazing collection – more than 200 pieces – of Moorcroft Pottery for sale from every decade, since William Moorcroft began his career.
Moorcroft is Kim’s passion. If you would like a current catalogue posted out, to talk to Kim about a particular Moorcroft item, or perhaps you have Moorcroft Pottery you wish to sell, contact him direct: firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Morpeth Antique Centre website.
Moorcroft Company History
William Moorcroft Ltd, trading as Moorcroft is a British art pottery manufacturer based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, which was founded by William Moorcroft in 1913.
In 1897 Staffordshire Pottery manufacturers James Macintyre & Co. Ltd employed 24 year old William Moorcroft as a designer, and within a year he was put in full charge or the company’s art pottery studio.
Moorcroft’s innovative range of pottery, called Florian Ware, was a great success and won him a gold medal at the World’s Fair, the St Louis International Exhibition in 1904. Unusually at that time he adopted the practice of signing his name, or his initials, on nearly all the pottery he designed, the production of which he personally oversaw.
In 1912 William Moorcroft set up his own studio and factory, which produced an extensive array of moderately priced domestic tableware items in addition to its famous tube-lined, hand painted art pottery. Moorcroft’s reputation was enhanced when Queen Mary, a keen collector of his works, granted him a Royal Warrant in 1928. Shortly before the death of William in 1945, his elder son, Walter Moorcroft, took control of the business, which he continued to develop. The company’s Royal Warrant was re-issued in his name in 1946.
Between its founding and its leadership under Walter Moorcroft, the company had been financed in collaboration with the famous London store Liberty. The Liberty store’s interest was bought out by Moorcroft in 1962.
Rising fuel and labour costs brought Moorcroft, with its highly labour intensive techniques, into financial difficulties and in an attempt to mass produce Moorcroft Pottery, part of the company was sold to the Roper Brothers in 1984. The attempt was unsuccessful, and in 1986 Roper Brother’s share was resold to business partners Hugh Edwards and Richard Dennis. In 1992 Dennis and his pottery designing wife Sally Tuffin, left the company, leaving the Edwards family as sole owners remaining so in 2008.
Walter Moorcroft retired as the director of design in 1987, but continued to contribute until his last design, ‘Rock of Ages’ was launched in 1999. In 1993, 24 year old Rachel Bishop joined the company as its senior designer. By claiming the original establishment of the Macintyre Studio under William Moorcroft in 1897 as its own founding date, in 1997 Moorcroft celebrated its centenary. During 1998 it established a new Moorcroft Design Studio and employed several designers to extend the range of its products.
What Makes Moorcroft Pottery So Collectable?
Design: William Moorcroft’s Art Nouveau influenced Florian Ware was decorated entirely by hand, with the design outlined in trailed slip using a technique known as tubelining. The technique has been used in almost all of Moorcroft’s art pottery ever since, distinguishing it from mass produced pottery. Both father and son also experimented with high temperature flambe techniques, producing high glaze with vibrant colour.
Later Walter Moorcroft designs reflect the simpler appearance preferred during his era. Moorcroft Design Studio patterns show strong influences from the founding days of William Moorcroft coupled with the advances in colouring techniques of more recent years.
Moorcroft Pottery is one of the few English Pottery Houses still making wares in England. Their editions are produced in very limited quantities. Some are exclusive to a country or region. Australian designs, for example feature an Australian back stamp and can only be purchased from Australia.