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Lustreware inkstand: C.45 & A-1928

An image of Inkstand and cover

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Lustreware inkstand


Designer: Moorcroft, William
Pottery: Moorcroft Pottery




Earthenware inkstand and cover, decorated with under glaze blue and with pinkish lustre glaze.

Square inkstand, with cut off corners and four holes at the corners for pens. The lid is circular, covering a round neck within which sits a conical ink well. The colour is a pinkish, purple lustre over a deep blue ground, which shows through at the edges; it covers the whole of the surface except the inside of the ink well, which has the same glaze but not the blue. The underside is recessed and of both inkstand and cover is decorated.


History note: Army & Navy Stores, London, bought for four shillings and nine-pence on 13 Nov 13, 1918, by Dr Glaisher, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr. J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest, 1928

Measurements and weight

Height: 6.6 cm
Height: 2.625 in

Place(s) associated

  • Cobridge

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1928) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr


20th Century, Early
Circa 1913 CE - 1918 CE


William Moorcroft (1872-1945), the son of a potteries artist and designer, trained at Burslem School of Art and in London and Paris. From c.1897-1913 he was chief designer for James Macintyre & Co.’s new Art Pottery department, in Burslem. His designs were sold through Tiffany of New York, Liberty of London and other prestigious stores. In 1913, Macintyre’s reverted to industrial wares and some thirty workers transferred to a newly established Moorcroft Pottery, in Sandbach Road, Cobridge, set up with financial support from Liberty’s; both businesses continue today. Moorcroft designed both the shape and decoration of his pottery, each complementing the other; he experimented widely with glazes and decorating processes, and produced plain lustrewares from c.1912-1922, when his interest moved on to flambé glazes. Lustre pieces are rarely signed. Dr Glaisher notes that 'there was a good deal of this ware having the same lustre' when he bought this inkstand at a London store, c.1922, and he 'bought this example as a small and convenient specimen'.

School or Style

Art Pottery

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of lustre underglaze colours
Inkstand Depth / Width 7.5 cm Depth / Width 2.875 in
Lid Diameter 5.5 cm Diameter 2.125 in

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hand building : Earthenware, in two parts, painted underglaze in blue and covered in pinkish lustre.
Painting underglaze

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: (label described by Dr Glaisher, now lost)

  • Text: W.Moorcroft. Hand made pottery No 876
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.45 & A-1928
Primary reference Number: 75137
Old object number: 428
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 18 December 2023 Last processed: Friday 16 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Lustreware inkstand" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-25 14:16:27

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