Friday, May 20, 2011

The Many Colours of Moorcroft



Moorcroft is one of my favourite ceramic factories, I love the uniqueness of each design and the wonderful colours used. I think one good piece of Moorcroft in a room really does add class and style.


Large Moorcroft "Poppies & Stick"  Vase circa 1930, Offered By; www.treasureantique.com



  Here's plenty of pictures and a brief history of the company;

An Impressive Flambe Moorcroft vase in the "Wisteria" design. Offered by ;www.treasureantique.com


The Moorcroft factory originally started as a studio pottery in 1897 under the wing of the large ceramic company James Macintyre & Co based in Cobridge Park, near Leek in the Midlands of England. The pottery was almost an instant success and them along with its young designer William Moorcroft soon became known worldwide, each piece personalised with his initials or signature.


The signed base of one of the vases below also shown is the registration number of the design.


A Fine pair of Moorcroft  Florian Poppy Vases circa 1903/4, Offered by  www.hampshireantiques.com

In 1912 the Moorcroft factory broke away from James Macintyre & Co setting up new premises in nearby Sanbach Road. This same factory is where Moorcroft is produced today.

Moorcroft and their new factory was financed by the quality London store Liberty and continued to be until controlled by them until 1962.
A Pair of 1920's signed Moorcroft Art Deco Table Lamps. Offered by www.retromodern.com 

In 1904 the Moorcroft factory began to win medals and commendations beginning with a gold medal at the International Exhibition in St Louis and culminating in 1928 with a royal appointment as potter to HM The Queen.
A Beautiful Pair of "Hibiscus" design Vases, Offered by www.treasureantique.com



When William Moorcroft died in 1945 his soon took over the day to day running and design and in 1962 the Moorcroft family finally bought out Liberty. The company however failed to aspire to anything like it had previously and in 1984 the Moorcroft family sold their share on the open market. The company is now controlled by the Edwards family and has been since 1993.


Moorcroft "Simeon" Edition Vase 2003 now discontinued. Offered by; www.collectablegifts.net




Today Moorcroft continues to produce art pottery and regularly issues limited collectors pieces, this in turn has led to a huge international following with collectors groups forming worldwide to trade pieces. Even the major auction houses of Sotheby's & Christies now hold regular sales in both London and New York.


A Moorcroft "Sophie" Charger limited edition 2003. Offered by; www.collectablegifts.net



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sofa or Couch ??

An English Howard & Son designed Chesterfield circa 1870, Offered by  www.talismanlondon.com

If your relaxing on your sofa or lounging on your couch while reading this I'm sure you'd love to know a little more about this wonderfully decadent piece of furniture, well here goes...
A French 19th Century Louis XVI Style Daybed / Sofa. Offered by; www.1stdibs.com 


The use of the word “Couch” in English can be traced back to around 1450 and originated from the French word “Coucher” meaning to lay down.

The word “Sofa” in English dates from around the 17th century and derives from the Arabic word “Suffah” meaning a long reclining chair.
A Magnificent German Biedermeier Sofa circa 1830-1835, Offered by  www.ritterantik.com


Gradually over time the two words began to mean the same and today either word is usual.

The style of sofa (or couch) we know today was first designed in Europe in the later part of the 1600's when the wooden frames similar of those designed as basic settles began to be upholstered. The first materials used were feathers, horsehair and even dried sea moss for stuffing and padding, this was then covered in thick rich coloured velvets, fine silks or wool.
 These elaborate sofa's were expensive pieces of furniture and consequently in the price range of only the more wealthy and elite Europeans.
At this time sofa's were more likely to be found in the bedroom rather than the lounge and tended to be laid or reclined upon by the socially elite while entertaining close friends in the intimate surroundings of the bedroom or boudoir and was seen as absolute luxury.
A Louis XV Italian Venetian walnut Canape / Sofa, circa1850. Offered by ; www.danebergantiques.com


Heading into the 19th century and with the fast growth of industry the sofa began to become produced on a larger scale. This in turn brought down the price making it more obtainable for the middle classes also around the same time coiled springs started to be used in the base thus producing a far more comfortable and longer lasting sofa. Obviously the new middleclass owners lived in smaller properties than their wealthy counterparts so couldn't usually accommodate these large sofa's in a bedroom, so opted to situate them in the largest room in the house being normally the lounge or parlour area.
These were still relatively expensive pieces of furniture and were treated as so, regularly being only used when entertaining guests or on special occasions.
An American Rare Carved Classical Sofa with Chinese Chippendale feet, circa 1830. Offered by;www.stanleyweiss.com


By the beginning of the 20th century the sofa was a usual fixture in the majority of middleclass homes, this gradually was to become a mass produced piece of household furniture hence reducing the price further and within a short period of time the sofa was a common sight in most homes.
A Single Arm Tuxedo Sofa by Edward Wormley, American circa 1960.  Offered by ;www.wyethome.com
A Danish Orange Red Leather Couch circa 1960, Offered by; http://www.arenskjold.com 


Today the range and styles available is immense, personally I still favour the classic designs and really enjoy seeing them both in modern bright coloured fabrics as well as the more traditional velvets and leather.
A Classic English Chesterfield with Original Leather circa 1890, Offered by  www.obsoleteinc.com
Italian Knoll Sofa circa 1950's, Offered by www.holmessamselantiques.1stdibs.com

What's your favourite ??