Lot 437 in our March 2019 sale was this beautiful pair of Moorcroft vases decorated in the Leaf and Berry design, presented in the unusual two tone green and blue colourway – Sold at auction for £580
At Potteries Auctions, and as our name suggests, we are pottery specialists and have been for many years. We deal in many different ceramic styles and ages, but as the headline says, in this article we’d like to talk about Moorcroft today.
We’ve sold many Moorcroft vases in our time, reaching an amazing £17,200 hammer price for a Moorcroft Flambe vase in 2015. This piece, pictured here, was an important William Moorcroft Flambe Eventide Landscape Exhibition Vase with silver plated stand and cover, and was in excellent condition.
Dated 1928 and signed by William Moorcroft, this piece was also featured in the forefront of the Moorcroft company exhibiton stand at White City. All these factors pushed the hammer price on the day to the heights it reached.
Although other Moorcroft vases might not reach sale prices into the several thousands like this example did, it is always a popular style that often fetches hundreds of pounds for pieces at auction. So read on to find out if you have a valuable Moorcroft vase in your possession!
This trio of Moorcroft vases were auctioned in March 2019. Details left to right: Lot 549 – William Moorcroft footed vase decorated in the early Pomegranate design, height 21cm – sold for £1,350; Lot 444 – Moorcroft Leaf & Berry vase signed by William Moorcroft. Circa 1930’s, height 36cm – sold for £700; Lot 445 – Moorcroft Prestige London vase, signed by Paul Hilditch. Number 131 of a limited edition, height 46cm – sold for £1,500.
William Moorcroft left pottery manufacturers James Macintyre & Co in the early 1900s. He had been taken on in 1897 at the age of 24, and within a year he was in charge of the company’s art pottery studio proving his talent very quickly and a very young age. It was at this point he began to produce his famous Florian ware which proved a big hit with collectors and Moorcroft’s designs soon overshadowed the other work produced by Macintyre & Co.
When Moorcroft left in 1912, he took his workforce from the studio he’d established in the Macintyre factory with him and set up a new factory in Sandbach Road in Cobridge, Stoke on Trent. His reputation grew, as did his portfolio, and as he moved into the 1920s he added many famous designs to his ranges such as the pomegranate (an example Pomegranate vase is pictured to the left above, and another in the centre below), wisteria, Spanish, poppy (an is pictured to the right below) and blue trees.
Another trio of vases from the March 2019 auction, details left to right: Lot 427 – Moorcroft large limited edition vase – “The Showground” by Kerry Goodwin, no.23 of 50, height 32cm – sold for £750; Lot 420 – William Moorcroft large Pomegranate bulbous vase with flared neck (Provenance Albert E Wade Collection, sold Sotheby’s 2002, label to base), height 32cm – sold for £550; Lot 418 – Moorcroft Macintyre Florian ware shaped vase in blue Poppy design. 30cm high. – sold for £480
Moorcroft also added landscape designs with Flambe glazes incorporating silver and silver-plated mounts. Special designs were also produced for Liberty & Co and many North American companies as his designs over there proved very popular.
William Moorcroft unexpectedly died in 1945 leading to his son Walter Moorcroft – who was serving in the army at that time – to immediately return to run the factory. Walter Moorcroft began work straight away drawing a series of new designs and in the late 1940s his new designs were being produced by the factory. Walter’s designs also became very popular with collectors from all over the world and led to the continued good fortunes of the Moorcroft pottery.
In Walter Moorcroft’s time, his designs included orchid, spring flowers, pansy, anemone, hibiscus, clematis and African lily to name a few. These were mainly produced on smaller scale shapes of vases, dishes, bowls and candlesticks with lamps. These designs proved to be big sellers in North America. Some of these designs featured Flambe glazes up until the late 1950s, when the Flambe kilns were eventually dismantled, but giving a good indication of date for amateur collectors who might hold some Flambe pieces.
From our July 2019 auction, we sold these beautiful Moorcroft vases. Details left to right: Lot 894 – Moorcroft Moonlight Flight trial vase: Trial vase designed by Emma Bossons, dated 7.1.11. 36cms high. Impressed marks to base. – sold for £420; Lot 932 – Moorcroft Prestige Muzharaia Grey Vase: Vase designed by Emma Bossons, height 42cm. – sold for £380; Lot 865 – Moorcroft vase decorated with Ships and Windsor castle: Vase by Emma Bossons 2015, limited edition of 10, height 31cm. – sold for £320
Generally, Moorcroft pottery prices have fallen in recent times due to the amount of product that has come onto the market. There are many reasons for this, but one factor is that many collectors are downsizing their collections turning it into a buyer’s market. Whilst there are less collectors buying, it’s also a great time to look at collecting so that you can pick up a bargain and wait for the markets to return again.
Prices for both William Moorcroft and Walter Moorcroft’s designs remain high for rare and unusual pieces though, and we see a lot of competition in our saleroom as collectors compete for that nice crisp piece that maybe has an unusual shape or is nicely decorated and is pleasing to the eye.
We see many of William and Walter’s amazing designs spanning from 1907 to 1989s come through our hands and we feature many Moorcroft pottery lots in our monthly sales, so if you are interested in being the first to know about new lots, then sign up for our newsletter for regular details of upcoming sales.
From our November 2019 sale: Lot 1169 – Moorcroft Quiet Waters Vase: Dated 2002. Height 20cm, 1st in quality. Boxed. – sold for £400; Lot 1171 – Moorcroft Maitai Bay lidded Vase: Dated 2007. Height 22cm, 1st in quality. Boxed – sold for £380
Selling Moorcroft at Auction
If you have Moorcroft pieces you’re looking to sell, their pieces consistently perform well at auction and our staff is well-placed to provide valuations and advice on selling your items. Call 01782 638100 or firstname.lastname@example.org to book a valuation appointment to attend one of our Tuesday valuation days. We also provide valuations via WhatsApp, simply send some clear photographs of your items via the app to 07864 667940. Additionally, we can send you links to our catalogues via WhatsApp–message the above number via the app and ask to receive our catalogues. Make sure you are subscribed to our email newsletters, too!