A large William Moorcroft exhibition vase is one of many star lots

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A large William Moorcroft exhibition vase is one of many star lots that will take centre stage at our inaugural auction on Sunday 24 March, held in the elegant surroundings of Bedale Hall.

Standing 18 inches (46cm) high, the vase was designed for the International Trade Fair in Buenos Aires in 1931 by William Moorcroft (1872-1945) - the renowned founder of the Moorcroft Pottery business - and is accompanied by a handwritten note of authentication by his son Walter.

Decorated in the striking ‘Autumn leaves and berries’ pattern and finished with a rare flambé glaze, the piece carries a guide price of £6,000 to £8,000. Both father and son experimented with high-temperature flambé techniques, for which a special kiln was built at the Staffordshire factory in 1921, and these lustrous wares are currently highly sought after.

Unusually for the time, William Moorcroft adopted the practice of signing his own work with his name or initials and the vase carries a full signature together with the Royal Warrant, which was stamped on pieces of pottery after Queen Mary made him Potter to the Queen in 1928.

The vase is expected to generate a great deal of interest from Moorcroft connoisseurs across the globe looking to add a signature piece to their collection.

More than 700 lots will make up the March Fine Art, Antiques and Jewellery Sale, including: a Roman cameo ring; a Victorian Fife and Forfar Regiment officer’s helmet complete in its own tin box; and a rare Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson money box in the shape of a wedge of cheese.

Viewing of all the items will take place at Bedale Hall on Friday 22 March from 10am until 7pm and Saturday 23 March from 9am until 5pm. The auction on Sunday 24 March starts at 10am.

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