Jonathan Mallinson

Published On


Page Range

pp. 93–114


  • English

Print Length

22 pages

5. 1912–13: Breaking with Macintyre’s

  • Jonathan Mallinson (author)
This chapter gives the first detailed account of the closure of Moorcroft’s department and its consequences, drawing on the firm’s Minutes and on Moorcroft’s own notebooks, diary entries, and correspondence. As the rift deepened between Moorcroft and Watkin, the attitude of the Macintyre Directors to Moorcroft’s treatment was clearly ambivalent. Moorcroft’s decision to set up his own pottery (rather than to work as a designer in another firm) is a sign of his independent spirit and sense of vocation. In little more than six months, he developed a coherent business model, secured financial backing from Liberty’s, found a suitable site for his new works, and oversaw its design and construction. He also agreed a contract with Liberty’s which gave him the freedom to pursue his work as a potter, but which left Liberty’s free to withdraw their support after ten years if the enterprise was not commercially viable. It was a lifeline, but with strings attached. For all the challenges of this period, Moorcroft exhibited to great acclaim at the Ghent International Exhibition of 1913; the end of one phase of his career marked the beginning of another.


Jonathan Mallinson

Emeritus Professor of French at University of Oxford

Jonathan Mallinson is Emeritus Professor of Early Modern French Literature and Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford. He has written extensively on prose fiction, comedy and satire of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and has edited works by Molière, Voltaire and Graffigny. His interest in British art pottery and its reception dates back many years.