William Moorcroft

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William Moorcroft started his career designing for James MacIntyre & Co, Burslem, Staffordshire. Here, he was given complete freedom to explore materials, colours and glazes, ultimately developing his unique, colourful style. He personalised each piece of pottery produced with his own signature or initials. Moorcroft's talents soon saw him promoted to director of the art pottery department.

Moorcroft's early pieces were decorated primarily with tube-lining. Amongst these was his popular Florian ware range, which used flowers, foliage and peacock feathers. His Aurelian range, on the other hand, used transfer printing and gilding. Moorcroft's style was influenced by ceramics of the Far East and also by the Etruscan and classical Roman civilizations. In addition to his decorative vases, jardinieres, jugs and biscuit barrels, he also produced a range of practical tablewares.

In 1904, Moorcroft won a gold medal at the St Louis International Exhibition and followed up the achievement with further medals and commendations, culminating in the appointment of the Moorcroft company as Potter to HM The Queen in 1928.

In 1913, Moorcroft left MacIntyre & Co to set up his own pottery in Burslem. Money came from Liberty, the famous London store and Liberty continued to control Moorcroft until 1962. He worked closely with his employees, personally overseeing the design of all pieces. Early wares were limited in colour, owing to Moorcroft's inexperience with underglaze colours, but he later expanded to a much more extensive range, employing the use of richer, deeper colours that achieved a greater boldness than his earlier designs. For the later years of his life, Moorcroft was preoccupied with developing flambe glazes, which he used to enhance the look of many of his patterns.

Since the opening of his pottery, Moorcroft collaborated with the London department store Liberty. He worked with the company to produce designs such as Flamminian and Claremont. His most popular pattern is said to be Pomegranate, while others like Eighteenth Century and the landscape pattern Moonlit Blue are amongst those highly prized by collectors today.

In 1937, Moorcroft was joined by his son Walter, who, with the help of his brother John, became director of the pottery. Walter carried on many of his father's popular patterns, later improvising or varying some of them.

Unlike most pioneering art pottery firms, the Moorcroft pottery remains in operation today, producing designs that respect its traditions of style and technique.

Over the past years the world profile of Moorcroft has grown internationally, both in quality and in perceived value. Auctioneers Bonhams hold a dedicated Moorcroft sale each year. In 2001, Sothebys New York held a major sale comprising many pieces of Moorcroft pottery. The Victoria & Albert museum has joined many other national museums with significant pieces of Moorcroft pottery in their permanent collections.

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WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
'Claremont' Large Moorcroft Bowl
A William Moorcroft " Claremont" bowel of large size. Mushroms on a shaded blue green ground. The exterior in a deep blue glaze. Impressed Cobrid...
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Taylor-Smith Antiques
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
Claremont
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Sylvia Powell Decorative Arts
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
Claremont
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Sylvia Powell Decorative Arts
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
Collection of William Moorcroft Vases
Collection of 9 pieces of William Moorcroft Pomegranate design. The tallest 7" high, all in excellent condition Top left with flared rim £500 ...
£500
AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
Eventide
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Sylvia Powell Decorative Arts
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
Impressive Willimam Moorcroft Vase for Libertys
Large William Moorcroft Vase in "Claremeont" design retailed through Liberty & Co
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AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
Moonlit Blue
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Sylvia Powell Decorative Arts
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
Moorcroft 'Pomegranate' Design Dish
A William Moorcroft "Pomegranate" design dish with bold design.
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Taylor-Smith Antiques
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
Moorcroft Vase for Libertys
William Moorcroft Vase for Libertys decorated with the Moonlit Blue design on a Tudric Pewter Foot. Restoration to the rim of the vase
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AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
Moorcroft `Anemone` vase
William Moorcroft tube lined design `Anemone` vase. The bulbous body with dark blue background and flared neck.
£485
Hall-Bakker Decorative Arts
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
Moorcroft. Circular box Leaves and Fruit design. Arts & Crafts.
A William Moorcroft design, Leaves and Fruit, on a circular, lidded box. The body colour is an unusual pale blue.
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Hall-Bakker Decorative Arts
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
Pair of Moorcroft Vases
A pair of Moorcroft vases 'Wisteria' both signed at base in green W. Moorcroft; one vase restored; c.1925
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Taylor-Smith Antiques
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
Pair of William Moorcroft Florian Vases
Pair of William Moorcroft 'Poppy' blue Florian Vases c.1905 signed in green with printed marks.
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Taylor-Smith Antiques
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
Rare William Moorcroft 'Wisteria' Jardinere
Rare William Moorcroft 'Wisteria' Jardinere of very large size. circa.1920 Bulbous form signed in green with impressed marks
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Taylor-Smith Antiques
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
Two Handled Comport in Spanish Design
Two Handled Comport in Spanish Design.
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AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
Waratah
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Sylvia Powell Decorative Arts
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft 'Pomegranate' Vase
William Moorcroft 'Pomegranate' Vase c.1920 squat form tall slender neck signed in green with impressed marks
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Taylor-Smith Antiques
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft 'Pomegranate' Vase
William Moorcroft 'Pomegranate' Vase c.1920 baluster form signed in green with impressed marks
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Taylor-Smith Antiques
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft 'Pomegranate' Vase
William Moorcroft 'Pomegranate' Vase c.1920 cylindrical form with flaring neck signed in green with impressed marks
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Taylor-Smith Antiques
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft 'Pomegranate' Vase
William Moorcroft 'Pomegranate' Vase c.1915 large baluster form signed in green with impressed marks
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Taylor-Smith Antiques
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft 4 Handled Vase
William Moorcroft for MacIntyre 4 handled Vase in Daisies design.
£2200
AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft Bowl
William Moorcroft Bowl decorated in the early version of the pansy and bud design on a green/blue background. Minor scratches to interior.
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AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft Bowl
William Moorcroft Bowl in Eventide Design, minor glaze pops to interior.
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AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft Claremont Vase
Early William Moorcroft Vase in the Claremont design
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AD Antiques Ltd
TIFFANY & CO
William Moorcroft Comport for Tiffany & Co
Rare William Moorcroft Two handled comport in Spansh Design retailed through Tiffany & Co
£4200
AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft Conrflower Vase
William Moorcroft for MacIntyre Vase decorated in the Cornflower design
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AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft Dawn Vase
William Moorcroft vase in the Dawn Design in a scarce lustre glaze
£1350
AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft Eventide Vase
William Moorcroft Eventide Vase (restoration to two rim chips)
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AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft Eventide vase
William Moorcroft Vase decorated in "Eventide" Design
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AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft Eventide Vase
William Moorcroft Vase decorated in the Eventide design
£2100
AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft Eventide Vase
William Moorcroft Vase in the Eventide Design
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AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft Fish Vase
William Moorcroft Salt-Glazed Vase decorated in a Fish design
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AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft Flambe Dawn Vase
William Moorcroft Flambe Dawn Vase. This vase is illustrated in Atterbury's Book.
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AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft Flambe Fish Vase
William Moorcroft Vase decorated in a rich flambe glaze with four fish
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AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft Flambe Fish Vase
William Moorcroft Flambe Vase decorated with 4 fish and jellyfish.
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AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft Flambe Vase
William Moorcroft Flambe Vase decorated with 5 fish and jellyfish.
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AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft Flambe Vase in Big Poppy design
Large William Moorcroft Flambe Vase in Big Poppy design
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AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft Flambe Wisteria Vase
Large William Moorcroft "Bullet" Vase decorated in Wisteria design in a Rich Flambé Glaze
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AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft Florian Squat Vessel
William Moorcroft 'Violet' blue Florian Squat Vessel c.1905 signed in green with printed marks
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Taylor-Smith Antiques
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft for Liberty
William Moorcroft for Liberty Plaque decorated in Eventide design with a Tudric Pewter Mount
£2500
AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft for Liberty & Co
William Moorcroft vase in the Pomegranate design retailed through Liberty & Co
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AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft for MacIntyre Vase
William Moorcroft for MacIntyre Vase in the Lilac Florian design in Hesperian colourway
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AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft for MacIntyre Vase
William Moorcroft for MacIntyre Vase decorated in Lilac design. Small restoration to rim.
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AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft for MacIntyres Miniature Vase
William Moorcroft for MacIntyres Miniature Vase decorated in the Poppy design
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AD Antiques Ltd
WILLIAM MOORCROFT (1872-1945)
William Moorcroft for MacIntyres Vase
William Moorcroft for MacIntyres, Vase decorated with Poppy in While
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AD Antiques Ltd