How to Date Moorcroft Pottery by Using Its Mark

How to Date Moorcroft Pottery by Using Its Mark

If you are a pottery enthusiast or collector, you may have come across Moorcroft pottery at some point. Moorcroft pottery is known for its distinct and vibrant designs, making it highly sought after by collectors worldwide. One of the most crucial aspects of collecting Moorcroft pottery is being able to correctly identify its mark, as this can provide valuable information about the piece’s age and authenticity.

The mark on a piece of Moorcroft pottery is like a fingerprint, unique to each item and indicative of its origin. By understanding the different marks used by Moorcroft over the years, you can gain insight into when a piece was made and by which artist. This knowledge can be invaluable when assessing the value and rarity of a particular piece.

One of the earliest marks used by Moorcroft is the impressed W. Moorcroft signature, which was used from 1898 to 1913. This mark typically appears on the base of the pottery and is an indication of a piece that was made during this early period. Another important mark to look out for is the Macintyre mark, which was used from 1897 to 1913. This mark features a globe with the words “Macintyre Burslem England” and signifies an even earlier piece of Moorcroft pottery.

As the years went by, Moorcroft introduced additional marks to distinguish their pottery. These include the impressed Moorcroft signature in capital letters, used from 1913 to 1938, and the painted green Moorcroft stamp, which was used from 1938 onwards. By familiarizing yourself with these marks and their corresponding time periods, you can make more accurate determinations about the age and authenticity of the Moorcroft pottery you come across.

Overall, being able to identify Moorcroft pottery with its mark is a skill that every collector should possess. The mark not only provides crucial information about a piece’s age and authenticity but also adds to its historical value. Whether you are looking to expand your collection or simply appreciate the beauty of these unique pieces, having the knowledge to identify Moorcroft pottery will enhance your overall appreciation and enjoyment of this renowned ceramic art.

What is Moorcroft Pottery

Moorcroft Pottery is a renowned British pottery manufacturer that was founded in 1897 by William Moorcroft. It is known for its distinctive handcrafted pottery, which is characterized by vibrant colors, intricate designs, and a high level of craftsmanship.

The pottery produced by Moorcroft is highly collectible and sought after by collectors around the world. Each piece is carefully made by skilled artisans who follow traditional techniques that have been passed down through generations.

Moorcroft Pottery is particularly famous for its use of tube lining, a technique that involves outlining the design on the pottery with fine tubes of clay before it is filled in with colored glazes. This method creates a raised effect that adds depth and texture to the piece.

The designs on Moorcroft Pottery often feature nature-inspired motifs, such as flowers, trees, and animals. These motifs are typically rendered in bold, vibrant colors, which are achieved through the use of rich, translucent glazes.

Many pieces of Moorcroft Pottery are marked with a signature or a stamp on the bottom, which can help identify and date the piece. The company has used various marks throughout its history, and collectors can refer to specialized reference books or online resources to learn more about these marks and their corresponding dates.

Today, Moorcroft Pottery continues to produce handcrafted pieces that are cherished by collectors and enthusiasts. The company’s commitment to quality and craftsmanship has ensured its enduring popularity and status as a leading name in the world of pottery.

Importance of Identifying Genuine Moorcroft Pottery

Moorcroft Pottery is highly regarded for its exquisite designs and craftsmanship, making it a sought-after collectible for pottery enthusiasts. Identifying genuine Moorcroft Pottery is crucial to ensure the value and authenticity of the piece. Here are some reasons why identifying genuine Moorcroft Pottery is important:

  • Value: Genuine Moorcroft Pottery pieces can be quite valuable, especially those with unique designs or limited editions. By accurately identifying genuine pieces, you can ensure that you are investing in a valuable item.
  • Authenticity: Moorcroft Pottery has a long and rich history dating back to the late 1800s. Identifying genuine pieces allows you to appreciate the traditional techniques and craftsmanship that make Moorcroft Pottery unique.
  • Collectibility: For collectors, having genuine Moorcroft Pottery in their collection is essential. Knowing that the pieces in your collection are authentic adds to the overall value and desirability of your collection.
  • Artistic Value: The designs and patterns on Moorcroft Pottery are known for their artistic value. By identifying genuine Moorcroft Pottery, you can fully appreciate the beauty and skill that goes into creating each piece.
  • Investment: Some people choose to invest in Moorcroft Pottery for its potential increase in value over time. Identifying genuine pieces ensures that you are making a sound investment and not purchasing counterfeit or reproduction items.

Overall, identifying genuine Moorcroft Pottery allows you to fully appreciate and enjoy the beauty, history, and value of these unique pieces. Whether you are a collector or simply admire the artistry, knowing that the pottery in your possession is genuine adds a sense of authenticity and worth to your collection.

Where to Find the Mark

To identify Moorcroft pottery, you need to locate and examine the mark.

The mark can usually be found on the base or the underside of the item. It is typically impressed or printed onto the pottery. The mark may include various elements, such as the Moorcroft logo, the artist’s initials or full name, the date, and sometimes additional information.

Here are some common places where you can find the mark:

  • On the base: Turn the pottery upside down and carefully inspect the bottom surface. Look for any mark or stamp that indicates it is a genuine Moorcroft piece.
  • Around the rim: In some cases, the mark is located around the rim of the item. It may be small and discreetly placed, so make sure to check the entire perimeter.
  • Under the glaze: Some marks are applied under the glaze, which means they are not raised or indented. Look for any text or symbols that seem to be part of the design.
  • On the side or back: Occasionally, the mark is positioned on the side or the back of the pottery, rather than the base. Inspect these areas carefully, as they may also contain valuable identification details.

Once you have found the mark, take note of its design, color, and any accompanying text. This information will be useful for further research or when seeking expert advice to date the piece of Moorcroft pottery.

Understanding the Different Marks

When identifying Moorcroft pottery, one of the essential factors to consider is the pottery’s mark. Moorcroft has used various marks throughout its history, and understanding these marks can help you determine the age and authenticity of a piece.

Potters to the Late Queen

One of the earliest marks used by Moorcroft is the “Potters to the Late Queen” mark, which was used from 1897 to 1901. This mark features a crown and the words “POTTERS TO THE LATE QUEEN” written in a curved banner.

Moorcroft Macintyre Marks

In 1904, Moorcroft signed a collaboration agreement with the James Macintyre & Co. pottery, resulting in the use of the “Moorcroft Macintyre” mark. This mark consists of a Moorcroft signature in blue or green with “Moorcroft Macintyre” written below.

Walter Moorcroft’s Signatures

After Walter Moorcroft took over the pottery in 1945, he introduced his own signature marks. The initials “W.M.” above the word “Moorcroft” were commonly used during this period.

The Florian Ware Mark

In the early 1950s, Moorcroft introduced a range of pottery called Florian Ware. This range had its own mark, which consisted of the word “FLORIAN” written above “Moorcroft Pottery” in script font.

Post-Walter Moorcroft Marks

After Walter Moorcroft retired in 1987, the pottery continued to produce pieces. Different marks were used during this period, including the initials “P.M.” for Philip Moorcroft, the son of Walter Moorcroft, and “Moorcroft Made in England”.

Modern Marks

Today, Moorcroft continues to create pottery, and their modern pieces feature various marks. Some of these marks include “Moorcroft Made in England” with a new version of the Moorcroft signature or simply “Moorcroft” in a scripted font.

These are just a few examples of the different marks used by Moorcroft over the years. By familiarizing yourself with these marks and their corresponding periods, you can enhance your ability to identify and date Moorcroft pottery accurately.

Expert Tips for Dating Moorcroft Pottery

If you’re interested in collecting or identifying Moorcroft pottery, understanding how to date it is crucial. Here are some expert tips to help you accurately determine the age of a piece of Moorcroft pottery:

  1. Check the mark: The most reliable way to date Moorcroft pottery is by examining the pottery mark. Moorcroft has used various marks throughout its history, and each mark corresponds to a specific time period. Look for the signature “Moorcroft” or the initials “W.M” (for William Moorcroft) on the pottery. Additionally, pay attention to any other marks or symbols, as they can provide further clues about the date of production.
  2. Research the pattern: Moorcroft pottery features a wide range of patterns, and many of them were only produced during specific time periods. By researching the patterns used by Moorcroft, you can narrow down the possible age of a piece. Look for reference books or online resources that provide information about Moorcroft patterns and their corresponding dates of production.
  3. Examine the colors: Moorcroft pottery is known for its vibrant and distinctive colors. The colors used by Moorcroft have also changed over time, which can help in dating a piece. For example, early Moorcroft pottery often features deep and rich colors, while later pieces may have lighter and more pastel shades. By comparing the colors of a piece to known examples from different time periods, you can get a better idea of its age.
  4. Consider the shape and style: Moorcroft pottery has also undergone stylistic changes throughout its history. Pay attention to the shape, design, and overall style of a piece, as these can provide additional clues about its age. Certain shapes and design motifs were more popular during specific time periods, so studying the evolution of Moorcroft styles can help in dating a piece.
  5. Get an expert opinion: If you’re unsure about the age of a piece of Moorcroft pottery, it’s always a good idea to consult with an expert. There are many experienced collectors and dealers who specialize in Moorcroft pottery and can provide valuable insights. They can help you evaluate the mark, pattern, colors, and style of a piece to determine its age with more accuracy.

By combining these expert tips, you can develop a better understanding of how to date Moorcroft pottery and enhance your knowledge as a collector or enthusiast.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

When trying to identify Moorcroft pottery with its mark, there are a few common pitfalls to avoid:

  • Missing or illegible marks: Sometimes, the mark on Moorcroft pottery can be faint or difficult to read. It’s important to ensure that the mark is clear and intact to accurately identify the piece.
  • Assuming all marks are genuine: Unfortunately, not all marks on Moorcroft pottery are genuine. There are some fakes and reproductions in circulation, so it’s essential to do thorough research and compare with authentic examples.
  • Ignoring other identifying features: While the mark is an important indicator of Moorcroft pottery, it shouldn’t be the sole criteria for identification. Consider other factors such as the design, colors, shape, and overall quality to ensure authenticity.
  • Not referencing reputable sources: When researching Moorcroft pottery marks, it’s essential to consult reputable sources and expert opinions. There are books, online forums, and experts in the field who can provide valuable insights and guidance.
  • Overlooking subtle variations: Moorcroft pottery marks can undergo subtle changes over time. It’s important to take note of these variations and understand the different periods and styles of Moorcroft pottery to accurately date and identify a piece.

By avoiding these common pitfalls and being thorough in your research and identification process, you can confidently determine the authenticity and age of Moorcroft pottery based on its mark.

Consulting an Expert

If you are unsure about the authenticity of your Moorcroft pottery or need help in identifying its mark, consulting an expert is highly recommended. They have the knowledge and expertise to accurately assess and evaluate your pottery. Here are a few ways to find an expert:

  • Auction houses: Many auction houses have specialists who can examine your Moorcroft pottery and provide authentication services. They are experienced in identifying marks, patterns, and styles.
  • Antique dealers: Antique dealers who specialize in ceramics and pottery are likely to have experience with Moorcroft. They can offer valuable insights and help authenticate your piece.
  • Moorcroft collectors and enthusiasts: There are dedicated communities and forums of Moorcroft collectors and enthusiasts. These individuals have vast knowledge and can provide guidance in identifying marks and evaluating your pottery.

When consulting an expert, it is essential to provide clear and detailed images of your pottery, including the mark, pattern, and any distinguishing features. It is also helpful to provide information about where and when you acquired the piece.

Remember, experts may charge a fee for their services, so be prepared for potential costs.

Final Thoughts on Identifying Moorcroft Pottery

In conclusion, identifying Moorcroft Pottery can be an exciting and rewarding process. By examining the distinctive marks, patterns, and signatures, you can gain insights into the history and value of the piece.

Here are some final tips to help you in your identification:

  • Start by looking for the Moorcroft stamp or mark on the pottery’s base. This can provide valuable information about the age and authenticity of the piece.
  • Pay attention to the pattern and design. Moorcroft pottery is known for its intricate and colorful floral motifs, so if you see these elements, it’s a good indication that you’re looking at an authentic piece.
  • Check for any artist’s signatures. Many Moorcroft pieces are signed by the artist, which can add value and interest to the pottery.
  • Consult a reputable reference book or online resource for more information on Moorcroft patterns and marks. This can help you learn more about specific designs and their historical significance.
  • Consider seeking a professional opinion if you’re unsure about the authenticity or value of a piece. There are experts and appraisers who specialize in Moorcroft pottery and can provide valuable insights.

Remember, the world of Moorcroft pottery is vast and varied, with many different patterns and designs to explore. So take your time, do your research, and enjoy the process of uncovering the history and beauty of these exquisite pieces.


What is Moorcroft pottery?

Moorcroft pottery is a type of decorative ceramic ware produced by the Moorcroft Pottery company, originally founded by William Moorcroft in 1897. It is known for its hand-painted designs and vibrant colors.

How can I identify Moorcroft pottery?

Moorcroft pottery can be identified by its signature mark, which typically includes the Moorcroft name, a Potter to HM The Queen emblem, and sometimes the initials of the designer. Additionally, the pottery often features distinctive hand-painted designs and vibrant colors.

Where can I find the mark on Moorcroft pottery?

The mark on Moorcroft pottery is usually located on the base of the piece. It can be a stamped mark or a painted mark, depending on the age of the pottery. Look for the Moorcroft name, the Potter to HM The Queen emblem, and any additional initials or symbols.

Are there any specific features I should look for when trying to date Moorcroft pottery?

Yes, there are certain features that can help in dating Moorcroft pottery. For example, pieces from the early 20th century often have a deep, rich glaze and intricate designs, while pieces from the mid-20th century may have simpler designs and a lighter glaze. Additionally, the mark on the pottery can provide clues about its age.

Is Moorcroft pottery valuable?

Yes, Moorcroft pottery can be quite valuable, especially pieces from earlier periods or those with rare designs. The value of Moorcroft pottery is influenced by factors such as its age, condition, rarity, and desirability among collectors. It is best to consult with an expert or appraiser to determine the specific value of a piece.

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