From an early age William Moorcroft (1872-1945) had his heart set on a career as a potter. He proved to be a talented artist and after successfully studying at what is now the Royal College of Art in London, he was offered a job as a designer at the Macintyre & Co pottery where he became known for his experimental pottery designs. His gift for innovation in creating new shapes and techniques was only matched by the flamboyant and creative use of colour and glazes with which he decorated his work. In 1912 he left Macintyre and entered into a financing arrangement with Liberty's of London, his biggest customer. Liberty financed the pottery and continued to control Moorcroft until 1962.
From 1922 William Moorcroft became a master of the flambé glaze technique, a very demanding and complex process whose technical secrets he kept from all but his son, Walter. The company became 'Potter to Her Majesty The Queen' in 1927. William's output was prolific and he received awards at several exhibitions and trade fairs. His son took over management of the pottery when William died in 1945. The commercial success continued until the 1960s when the company's reputation faltered but their fortunes were revived by a new shareholder and young design team in the 1990s.
This vase belongs to the collection of nine Moorcroft vessels, dating from 1930 to 1990, donated to the Museum by Garry and Susie Murphie in 2004. Most are hand painted (tubelined) with colourful flowers, with the earliest vases being particularly well made. They are typical of the work of Moorcroft Pottery which was originally founded as a studio in 1897 within a large ceramic company, James Macintyre & Co, and from 1912 run by William Moorcroft who set up a parrallel factory in Sandbach Road where Moorcroft pottery is still made today.