Moorcroft was originally founded as a studio in 1897 within a large ceramic company, James Macintyre & Co. Moorcroft pottery soon made its mark on the world with designs from the then 24 year old William Moorcroft who personalised each piece of pottery produced with his own signature or initials. This did little for James Mcintyre’s name and reputation, and in 1913 William parted company with Macintyre and marched his workforce across Cobridge Park to a new factory where Moorcroft pottery is still made today. Moorcroft was financed by the famous store Liberty of London store who continued to control Moorcroft until 1962. So successful was the factory in 1928 Moorcroft Pottery was appointed potter to HM The Queen.
William Moorcroft died in 1945 and his elder son, Walter, took over management and design and later bought out Liberty, but Moorcroft seldom prospered. In 1984, the family sold the bulk of their shares and Moorcroft is now controlled by the Edwards family.
Over the past decade interest in Moorcroft has grown and there is high demand for rare and desirable Moorcroft Vases, Macintyre Art Pottery, Florian Ware, Faience, Liberty and Co, Moorcroft Lustre Ware, Moorcroft Flambe Ware, Moorcroft Bowls, Moorcroft Candlesticks and Ginger Jars and early pieces.
Moorcroft patterns have since the beginning been synonymous with floral designs from the early Aurelian, Dura and Florian Ware, with patterns such as Daffodil, Poppy, Iris, Violet, ,Wisteria, Peacock, Lilac, Honesty, Tulip, Wild Rose, Primrose, Crocus, Fresia, Daisy, Forget Me Nots, Chrysanthemum, and the popular Cornflower design.
With the Hesperian Ware came patterns depicting fish, notably, Carp, seaweed and shells. Colours varied from the typical Florian Blue and included greens, yellows and salmon hues sometimes with gold accents. Other areas of nature captured Moorcrofts imagination, such as Toadstools and Butterflies.
In 1902 the first landscape design was produced with pattern names such as Hazledene, Claremont, Prunus and later Moonlit Blue, Eventide and Dawn. The popular Pomegranite and Pansy designs were introduced in 1910 along with the Spanish design and its much richer new array of subtle and carefully balanced colours. Next came Persian Ware reflecting the enthusiasm at the time for Middle Eastern Styles of decoration. Moorcroft continued to use flowers as his main source of inspiration introducing Orchid, Anemones, Fresia, Honeysuckle, Spring Flowers, Clematis, Fuschia, Lily, Columbine, Hibiscus, Bourgainvillaea, Magnolia, Geranium and Campanula Grape and Leaf and the more exotic South African Flower and Waratah. Many different glazes were produced including Flamminian, Lustres and Powder Blue.
As well as Vases, Bowls, Jardinieres, Jugs, Teasets and Candlesticks, Moorcroft have produced many unusual items, Biscuit Barrels, Butter Dishes, Scent Bottles, Napkin Rings, Bonbonnieres and Clocks.
The 1980‘s saw designs such as Sunflowers, Reeds At Sunset, Fairy Rings, Penguins, Finches, Lemons and later Bramble, Buttercup, Mamura and Cluny from designers such as Sally Tuffin. In 1993, Rachel Bishop joined Moorcroft and has produced many different designs incorporating a varied subject matter. Design names such as Phoenix, Lamia, Tranquility and Illumination now join the long list of Moorcroft history.
In it’s centenary year in 1997 the Moorcroft Design Studio was started. This was swiftly followed by Moorcroft Enamels which later closed in 2006.
The Victoria & Albert museum has joined many other national museums with significant pieces of Moorcroft pottery in their permanent collections.
Today, Moorcroft leads the world of art pottery with its own distinctive style and is selling more all over the world today, than it did even in its previous heyday of the 1920’s.
You will find Moorcroft pottery for sale in 90% of our sales at Potteries Auctions and with its vast diversity in age, pattern, shape and form there is something to suit every collector, from those just starting out to those looking for the rarest most sublime pieces.