Some pieces, made specifically for export, combined the talents of Cobridge tubeliners and American silversmiths. Although perhaps a case of ‘gilding the lily’, they are among the most collectable for all Moorcroft wares.
In 2013 a silver-mounted Claremont toadstool pattern loving cup, c.1905, sold for $27,000 (£17,650) at Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, California, while a three-piece Pomegranate pattern teaset made for Shreve’s in 1912 took £15,400 at Dawsons in Maidenhead in September 2020.
Kinghams’ (23% buyer’s premium) sale in Moreton-in-Marsh on October 8-9 included another three-piece teaset with handles and spouts encased in silver, this one a squat baluster form in the Claremont design. As well as typical registration marks, it has the green painted signature to the base reading W Moorcroft, Shreve & Co, San Francisco.
The Moorcroft market has fallen in recent years – as much as 50% for some pieces – but the general rule does not apply to rarities. Estimated at £9000-12,000, it sold to a UK collector bidding via thesaleroom.com at £20,000.
The price is among the highest ever paid for Moorcroft. At the top of the pile is the £28,000 bid for a Macintyre Hesparian Ware jardinière and stand when Sotheby’s sold the first part of the Albert Wade collection in 2002. More recently in 2012 it resold for £22,000 at Woolley & Wallis as part of the Ken Manley collection, alongside a flambé glazed double-gourd Carp design vase, c.1914, also hammered at £22,000.