A Guide to Moorcroft Pottery Markings
Moorcroft pottery brings wonderfully bright colours to any home or collector’s display.
We have been selling Moorcroft pottery, with varying degrees of rarity, for over twenty years here at Potteries Auctions. Moorcroft pottery is incredibly collectable and highly prized by its collectors, and its value has only increased over the years.
If you are looking to expand your collection or sell your exquisite pieces and would like to understand the value, we can help.
Our experts will identify and provide valuations for your pottery and make sure selling your Moorcroft pieces is as easy as possible. We’ve also created this Moorcroft pottery markings guide to help you identify valuable and collectable Moorcroft vases, lamps and stunning pottery pieces by the markings on the base of your piece.
Read on to find out more!
What is The History of Moorcroft Pottery?
Compared to many other Stoke Pottery brands, Moorcroft started quite late, created by William Moorcroft in 1897. Now, however, it’s a worldwide brand and has been growing in quality and prestige ever since its inception.
In 1928, Moorcroft was appointed ‘Potters to H.M. The Queen’, cementing the quality and demand of the brand.
After William died in 1945, his son Walter Moorcroft took over the responsibilities his father had held and became the sole Moorcroft designer. Walter introduced many of the exotic flowers that are seen and loved in the designs today. Walter retired from this role in 1986, and Moorcroft have since seen a steady increase in designers and have even developed the Design Studio, a place which now hosts five world-class ceramic designers.
Why is Moorcroft Pottery Famous?
From its early conception, Moorcroft pottery was in high demand from prestigious department stores such as Harrods, Liberty of London, and even Tiffany & Co. This demand cemented the pottery brand as one of artistic quality and a solid investment, which we can still see to be true to this day.
This stunning Moorcroft Flambe Eventide vase, with a silver-plated stand and cover, was signed by William Moorcroft and dated 1928. It sold for an astronomical £17,200 in one of our Antiques, Rare 20th Century British Pottery, Jewellery and Collectors’ Items auctions back in April 2015.
How Do You Identify Moorcroft Pottery?
Moorcroft pottery is unique in that it has mainly remained in ownership by one family since its founding. This has ensured there are, relatively, only a few markings and backstamps to look out for:
- Early Moorcroft pieces are much sought after and often reach high prices at auctions.
- All Moorcroft pieces have markings on the base. They will identify that the piece was made in England and the year the piece was made. The design year and initials will also show who the tubeliner or painter was.
- You might also find an artist’s mark, sometimes called a ‘Moorcroft signature’ or ‘monogram’. Today, guest designers and members of the Moorcroft Design Studio each have personalised monograms.
- If you find a silver stripe through a WM monogram, it often means the piece is a second quality item or that it’s imperfect.
What Markings Should I Look Out For?
Notable Moorcroft Trademark Backstamps
This marking is a typical early Florian ware mark. You can also see a hand painted signature by William Moorcroft in green. You might find these pieces have a pattern or registration number.
This is another typical Florian ware mark, with W.M initials handpainted in green.
These markings show the Common Macintyre & Co name, with the Burslem printed mark. You’ll find this mark in brown or black.
During this period, William Moorcroft used his full signature. You’ll also find ‘Moorcroft’ and ‘Burslem’ markings, with some pieces having ‘England’ or ‘Made in England’ stamped on them.
During this period, the markings were impressed. There was also the addition ‘Potter to H.M. The Queen’, often found in the bottom right.
This picture shows an early version of the Royal Warrant paper label; however, it was updated in 1936 stating ‘Potter to H.M. The Queen Mary’. Look out for both versions.
This marking shows Walter Moorcroft’s initial markings. Pieces from this era might also have ‘Moorcroft’ and ‘Made in England’ clearly showing.
This marking is Walter Moorcroft’s full signature mark. This is a rare marking and was only used on important pieces or limited editions.
A popular marking, this large Moorcroft impressed mark will have also had an upper case ‘MADE IN ENGLAND’ added to the base.
This marking is extremely rare. You’ll see Walter Moorcroft’s initials alongside and an impressed ‘Moorcroft’. You’ll find this on large limited edition Anemone vases.
Trial marked pieces.
This modern Moorcroft marking shows the piece was a trial. It will show the date, copyright and upper-case lettering of ‘MOORCROFT’ and ‘STOKE ON TRENT’.
This marking is a modern Moorcroft mark for the artist Rachel Bishop. It’s a complex marking with lots of detail.
Photo Credit: Antique Marks.
Moorcroft Year Cypher Markings
In 1990, Moorcroft added year cyphers to the base of their pottery pieces. These are often symbols or designs to help identity the year the piece was made. You might see some copyright marks too; these show the date when the design was first used.
- 1990 – Arrow
- 1991 – Bell
- 1992 – Candlestick
- 1993 – Diamond
- 1994 – Eye
- 1995 – Flag
- 1996 – Gate
- 1997 – HC monogram for the centenary year
- 1998 – Iron
- 1999 – Jug
- 2000 – Key with a double ‘M’ for the teeth
- 2001 – Leaf
- 2002 – Mushroom
- 2003 – Nib
- 2004 – Octagon
- 2005 – Pineapple
- 2006 – Question Mark replaced with ‘Q’
- 2007 – Racquet
- 2008 – Strawberry
- 2009 – Teapot
- 2010 – Umbrella
- 2011 – Vase
- 2012 – Windmill
- 2013 – Xylophone
- 2014 – Yacht
- 2015 - Z
- 2016 - Anchor
- 2017 - Butterfly
- 2018 - Cat
- 2019- Dice
This Moorcroft Prestige Queens Choice lamp base sold for an unbelievable £980 at our November 2020 online auction of rare 20th-century British pottery, collectors’ items, jewellery and antiques.
As you can see, there is a varied mix of date markings and backstamp markings used to identify Moorcroft pieces. Do you have some Moorcroft pottery sat at home collecting dust? Perhaps it’s time to sell at auction!
How Can I Auction My Moorcroft Pottery?
Potteries Auctions can identify and provide valuations on a wide range of Moorcroft pieces. Please get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you or request a call back if you are looking for an expert evaluation and are seeking to sell your Moorcroft pottery.
Did you know we can collect your pottery from anywhere in the UK? We also offer solutions for shipping too. We can pack and safely post your goods, perfect for transporting pieces that have been bought via our online auctions.