Moorcroft dish in the ‘Wisteria’ pattern with Liberty ‘Tudric’ pewter pedestal foot by William Moorcroft, circa 1930.
Dimensions:11cm wide by 6.5cm high.
LIBERTY & Co
Liberty & Co. was founded in 1875 by Arthur Lazenby Liberty. Liberty pioneered the Art Nouveau style, as it was to be recognized many years later, from the late 1890’s to about 1912. Their silverware stands out as some of the most desirable items retailed by them. Some of the designers who worked for them were Archibald Knox, Rex Sliver, Jessie M. King, E.A. Taylor, Arthur and Georgina Gaskin, Bernard Cuzner, Oliver Baker, A.H. Jones and H.C. Craythorn. Liberty registered its first mark in 1894 and this silverware was originally manufactured by an unidentified London workshop. The silver retailed by Liberty was sold under the trade name “Cymric ”. Introduced in 1900 it was manufactured predominantly by W.H. Hasler of Birmingham. “Cymric” silverware was manufactured until 1927 and is characterized by the hammer marks being visibly left on the metal surface and by decoration with enameling and the application of gem stones. These pieces were mass produced but were hammered to give the appearance of hand craftsmanship. Here Arthur Lazenby Liberty managed to align the desire for hand wrought items of quality at the right price with modern manufacturing techniques. “Cymric” silver and jewelry was intended as a well made cheaper alternative to the expensive hand made Arts & Crafts items of the day. A large amount of Liberty’s silverware was stamped with the mark of Liberty & Co. without identifying the designer or the maker, as only the Liberty name was meant to be publicized. “ Designed and made by Liberty& Co” is found in their company retail catalogues and here Arthur L Liberty promoted the ideal of objects designed and manufactured for a taste and fashion conscious buying public. The work produced by Archibald Knox (1864 – 1903) the most prolific and important designer for Liberty’s, reflects the craft spirit and preoccupation with Celtic art. Knox’s designs are typified by rather simple Celtic motifs and blue or green enameling. In all retail operations giving your clients the right look at the right price led to the introduction of the less expensive range of Tudric pewter ware. This was launched in1901 and production ended in 1939. The pewter ware was manufactured by W.H. Haseler under a variety of marks and often accompanied by a design number. Many of the pewter items have interlaced formalized plant forms stamped into them. English pewter which was lead free maintained a high polish, was easier and cheaper to make than silver and could be decorated with applied enamel studs, semi precious stones and abalone shell giving it an arts and crafts look. Liberty’s also stocked and promoted the development of art pottery. Barum Ware was designed by Charles Hubert Brannam and Owen Davis and originally this work was stocked exclusively by Howell & James of Lower Regent Street, London. In 1889 Liberty’s obtained the exclusive rights to sell Barum Ware. The bases of these items were marked “MADE FOR LIBERTY”. Due to the close friendship between William Moorcroft and Arthur Liberty, Moorcroft produced wares which were retailed through the store with some designs being exclusively reserved for Liberty. A number of these pieces were fitted with Tudric pewter bases.