A Buyer's Guide to Moorcroft Jars

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A Buyer
Moorcroft pottery was inevitable, and in 1984, shares were sold on the open market. After several shareholder changes, Moorcroft has been owned by the Edwards family since 1993.
 

Rock of Ages, which launched in 1999, was the last design of Walter Moorcroft, who had retired as the director of design in 1987. Rachel Bishop, a 24-year-old designer, joined Moorcroft as a senior designer (only the fourth designer in a century) in 1993. Moorcroft centenary was celebrated in 1997, and the Moorcroft Design Studio was founded the same year to extend the range of products. Over the course of a century, Moorcroft evolved into the leading art pottery manufacturer in the world because of its unique style and expert craftsmanship.

Vintage Moorcroft Markings and Labels

One of the most reliable methods of gauging the correct age of Moorcroft jars and other Moorcroft pottery is looking at the labels, factory marks, and signatures present on the pieces. Another way of quickly guessing the designer of a particular piece is looking at the era in which the product was manufactured. For example, all pre-1935 products were manufactured by William himself, the ones between 1935 and 1945 could have been designed by either the father or the son, and pieces from 1945 to 1984 are masterpieces of Walter.

Most vintage Moorcroft jars and other vintage Moorcroft pottery on the market was made by Walter Moorcroft, the son. Pieces made by William Moorcroft are highly sought after, but are rarely available and are extremely expensive. Some of the most popular Walter Moorcroft designs include Hibiscus, Magnolia, Columbine, Anemone, and Lilies. Many of the Clematis and Orchid designs were created by William himself, but some of them are attributed to Walter, as well.

Markings, back stamps, and paper labels are the most convenient methods of dating a Moorcroft correctly. It is, however, hard to find labels on many of the pieces as they have been removed or lost during the past several decades. The different markings and labels that have been used on Moorcroft pottery since the beginning are listed in the following table:

Marking and Label

Era

Description

Florian Ware

1898-1905

Printed Florian Ware mark was used up until 1905

Some examples were produced up until 1914

Macintyre Moorcroft

1904-1913

Macintyre monogramme found on most of the pieces

Some pieces were signed

Moorcroft Burslem

1914-1916

Moorcroft began to use his own impressed marks

Moorcroft Burslem England

1916-1918

To comply with international standards of the time, the word England was added to the previous label

Moorcroft 'Made in England'

1918-1928

To comply with U.S. import regulations, the word 'Burslem' was dropped and 'Made in England' was added

Paper Label

1928-1936

'Potter to H.M. The Queen' was inscribed on the paper label

Paper Label

1936-1953

‘Potter to H.M. Queen Mary’ was inscribed on the paper label

Paper Label

1953-1978

'Potters to the Late Queen Mary' was used after her death

From 1928 to 1949, two versions of the impressed signatures were used. The label 'Moorcroft Made in England' was also used in the 1949 to 1986 era with Walter's initials.

Uniqueness of Moorcroft Pottery

What makes Moorcroft pottery stand out from the rest of the mass-produced pottery throughout the world is the technique used in manufacturing the pottery. Tubelining is used in Moorcroft pottery and is one of the integral features of most Moorcroft designs. The Florian Ware range of pottery was entirely hand decorated with the design using the same tubelining technique. In this technique, a thin line of clay is squeezed through a nozzle onto the pottery item being decorated. Also known as 'slip trailing', it takes time to acquire this skill. William and Walter Moorcroft also tried out high-temperature flambe techniques that produced high glaze with vibrant colour. Although, colouring techniques have advanced in recent years, Moorcroft Design Studio patterns reflect the influence from the founding days.

Moorcroft Ginger Jars and the Manufacturing Process

Ginger jars are porcelain jars that have a wide mouth, a domed lid, and a somewhat spherical body. They originated in China and were originally used for ginger. Moorcroft produces ginger jars that feature state-of-the-art designs and are immensely popular with art pottery collectors. These jars can also be used for storing spices, salts, and other miscellaneous items. They can be used in a home kitchen as storage jars as well as decorative items in other parts of the house. The famous Moorcroft patterns are used for the decoration of these jars. The tobacco jar, the preserve jar, the orchid jar, and the 'Iris and Daffodil' jar are other popular Moorcroft jars that serve various purposes, including storage and decoration.

The casting method is used to manufacture Moorcroft jars and other Moorcroft pottery items, and the manufacturing process has changed very little since 1897. Plaster handmade moulds are used for moulding Moorcroft jars. Liquid clay or slips fill the moulds, which are then allowed to dry up. As they dry, the clay thickens and sticks to the moulds. Once fully dried, the shape is formed. The remaining clay is released from the mould, and the design is left.

Buying Moorcroft Jars on eBay

Enter search terms like Moorcroft jars, Moorcroft ginger jars, or vintage Moorcroft into the search bar on the eBay home page to begin the Moorcroft jar hunt. Do not forget to start looking in your local vicinity first. If you are lucky enough to find the desired Moorcroft jar in your area, you can save the associated delivery charges. As soon as the order is successfully processed, you can pick up the Moorcroft jar from the seller at a convenient time. Otherwise, look for the desired product with the lowest possible combined cost, including shipping charges.

When searching, you can filter the results based on your personal preferences by simply selecting various filter options. For some search terms, eBay suggests related searches that often facilitate the buying process and reduce the amount of time it takes to find a product. Also, remember to go through the seller's feedback and reviews before placing an order to determine the integrity of the seller.

Conclusion

An art pottery manufacturer from the UK, Moorcroft has an established history that spans more than a century. William Moorcroft set up his own pottery company in 1912 after leaving the company where he got his start as a designer. Moorcroft has evolved tremendously over the last century and has turned into one of the leading art pottery manufacturers in the world. Famous Moorcroft pottery items include Moorcroft jars, jugs, lamps, plates, and vases, among many other choices.

Moorcroft ginger jars are one of the most popular types of Moorcroft jars. Over the years, they have been used for many practical purposes, including storing spices, medications, and cosmetics, as well as for purely decorative purposes. Knowledge of the evolution of Moorcroft jars and other pottery items, the various markings and labels from different eras, and the manufacturing process is essential for an art pottery enthusiast or a collector who is searching for Moorcroft pieces.

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