Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Liberty & Co.

Q: I have an art nouveau style vase that my grandmother used as an umbrella stand. It has a floral design that feels like it's etched into the vase. The bottom is stamped "Made for Liberty & Co" and it looks like it is signed "W. Morris Jr." Can you tell me the age and value, if any?

A: Liberty & Co. is a famous department store in London, England. The signature on your vase is "W. Moorcroft." Moorcroft made pottery for several retailers. Liberty was the most important, financing the Moorcroft pottery until 1962 when the Moorcroft family bought them out. Pottery can be found with both Liberty and Moorcroft marks, some with just the Liberty mark and some with just the Moorcroft mark. Liberty sold some Moorcroft patterns under different pattern names. Your vase is the "Spanish" design, made in different color variations from 1910 to the 1930s. Pieces marked "Liberty" are very collectible. A large vase like an umbrella stand could sell for over $1500.


Anonymous said...

Amusing to see my letter posted after all this time. I did sell the vase at auction several years ago for $3750. In today's economy I don't think I'd get anywhere near that amount.

Anonymous said...

I am a Moorcroft dealer and if someone came to me with a piece of Moorcroft that was in perfect condition with the Liberty and Moorcroft mark,LARGE ENOUGH TO USE AS AN UMBRELLA STAND-I would be considered a thief to buy it at $3750.00 ,much less $1500. tHIS POOR LADY WAS ROBBED.Moorcroft potteries in Stoke -on -Trent,England would be delighted to buy it back and collectors all over the world would have their tongues hanging out

Anonymous said...

I am aUS Moorcroft dealer and collector and I am horrified. Any piece with the Libert and William Moorcroft mark that is gargantuan enough to act as an umbrella stand would be worth far more than your estimate and far more than the paltry amount this lady received. Dealers and collectors(and Moorcroft Potteries,Stoke-on-Trent,England)would have their tongues hanging out.Anything this size is extremely rare.(unless she was storing cocktail umbrellas)

atticprowler said...

The original owner said that it was sold at auction so it is the luck of the draw for the final hammer price. Auction values depend on the knowledge and size of the auction house and if the seller has a reserve. If the vase was undervalued it was because the people in the audience did not know its value and their was no competion for it. Often the opposite happens at auction when something sell much higher than it should because you have two bidders that both have deep pockets and big egos.

Anonymous said...

To clarify, the vase was sold in the year 2000. It measures 16" h x 10 1/2" w and has 2 chips to base.
A 17 1/2" Grueby vase sold at the same auction for $50,000 (although estimate was only 9 - 12,000) so that's how auctions go.