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Walter Moorcroft illustrates one (dated 1947) on the back cover of his book Memories of Life and Living, (Richard Dennis, 1999), and writes: “One of a series of about twelve, mostly in flambé colours.”

He is not precise here about how many flambé examples he did produce, and I’ve been aware of two examples in plain colours sold since 1981, but the report’s ‘one of only six or seven made’ seems a questionably low number, and I’d like to know the source of this information.

Walter gives some more interesting information on these large exhibition vases in Newsletter No 4 of the Moorcroft Collectors Club: “Owing to the weight of specially stiffened clay required to throw these vases on the wheel, only six at a time were made, but the all-time total would not exceed 18-24.” [A few of these, 3-6 I understand, were decorated with orchids and spring flowers of which I’ve seen two; one a magnificent flambé example sold at Bonhams.]

This number of large vases referred to here seems to indicate that Walter’s estimate of about 12 on the flap of his book might have been conservative.

The one just sold at Hansons was dated 1947, and that Newsletter No 4 goes on to say of these large Tiger Lily vases: “There are pieces known to be in existence dated 1946, 1947, 1952 and 1954.”

However many were made, they could be located anywhere in the world, and it would be interesting to know where they are, and how many are in the UK.

James Shaw

Appleton Antiques