Moorcroft marks its centenary with Burslem pottery sale
MORE than 100 pieces of Moorcroft pottery are going under the hammer to mark the firm's centenary this year.
Bonhams auctioneers is celebrating 100 years of production at the factory, in Sandbach Road, Burslem.
As part of the anniversary, it will hold a sale of some of Moorcroft's finest and most striking wares worth tens of thousands of pounds in total.
The 'Moorcroft at Cobridge' auction includes pieces dating back as far as 1913,
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Many of them make up part of one collection built up over more than 40 years by an enthusiast in South Africa.
Highlights of the auction include a Flambe Waratah vase which has been estimated to fetch between £8,000 and £12,000.
Other lots include an early Florin Poppy vase, which could attract bids of £1,500 to £2,000, a Claremont Silver overlay tea-set, estimated at £5,000 to £7,000, a Hazledene vase at £3,500 and a Moonlit Blue vase which could bring in up to £3,000.
The sale will also feature a large collection of miniature Moorcroft wares including salad servers, preserve pots, table wares, buttons and centrepieces.
Mark Oliver, head of decorative arts at Bonhams, said: "We wanted to celebrate this special centenary by putting together a collection of some of Moorcroft's most rare pieces, many of which have been discontinued.
"We are expecting interest from eager collectors across the globe who will be keen to get their hands on special items from a variety of ranges.
"Auction estimates start at just £200, so there is something for every level of collector in the sale. I look forward to welcoming Moorcroft devotees to our saleroom."
William Moorcroft was one of the most well-renowned potters in the country with a reputation for creating striking pieces, which are still popular today.
Queen Mary, who was an avid collector of his works, granted him a royal warrant in 1928, further enhancing the desirability of his boldly coloured designs.
Burslem historian Fred Hughes said the 100-year milestone should be celebrated.
He added: "When William Moorcroft developed the business he created something that had never been done before.
"It was brilliant, bold and new.
"So I think it is absolutely essential that people recognise the value of 100 years of Moorcroft pottery.
"It is one of the great credits to Stoke-on-Trent and it is outstanding in its production in the city."
Moorcroft chairman Hugh Edwards took over the business in 1986.
Mr Edwards helped save the firm from liquidation in 1986.
After putting it up for sale in 2007, he took it off the market again the following year because potential buyers refused to guarantee to keep manufacturing in the city.
Mr Edwards said: "It is not only auctioneers as fine as Bonhams who make money out of Moorcroft art pottery.
"Over the past hundred years, pieces have been made which have done well for Moorcroft collectors, with record prices on both sides of the Atlantic.
"This is good for everyone concerned in this, our centenary year."
The auction is taking place at Bonhams, in Knightsbridge, London, on April 17.
But the collection will be available to view from April 14.
For more information visit the Bonhams website at www.bonhams.com.