Vase, red flambé glaze, Bernard Moore, Longton, Staffordshire, 1903
Height: 20.1 cm, Diameter: 16.5 cm approx.
British Galleries, room 125f
Made by Bernard Moore (born in Stone, Staffordshire,1850, died in 1935), St Mary's Works, Longton.
Purchase price note: 505 to 516-1905 purchased for £10.
Just as in modern homes, dramatically different styles of ornament could be displayed together in Victorian houses. The style of the red 'art pottery' vase was strongly influenced by Chinese forms and glazes. It would have seemed startingly modern beside the delicate painting and gilding of the other, more commercially popular vases. [27/03/2003]
Designed by Bernard Moore , Wolfe Street pottery, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England, 1903
Mark: ' Bernard Moore 1903', printed
Porcelain with a high-temperature (flambe) glaze
This vase is a purely decorative object which meets fashionable taste of around 1900, and would impress as evidence of the owner's knowledgeable and artistic taste.
After the closure of the family firm of Moore Bros. in 1905, Bernard Moore (1850-1935) set up his own kilns and decorating workshop at Wolfe Street, Stoke-on-Trent. Long before then he was a highly respected glaze chemist and a consultant to the ceramics industry on a wide variety of technical fronts. Throughout the 1880s and 1890s it is likely that he was experimenting with and perfecting the specialist and difficult glazes with which his name is now principally associated.
Materials & Making
Based on mineral (usually iron or copper) oxides, true flambé glazes (or transmutation glazes) are fired at high temperatures (up to 1500 ºC) in a kiln atmosphere that is rich in carbon monoxide, owing to the shutting off of oxygen at a critical moment. (This is known as a 'reducing' atmosphere.) This results in a violent reaction within the glaze, which is transmuted into an unpredictable range of reds, purples, blues, lilacs and greens. The glaze was perfected by the Chinese in the 18th century and first copied successfully in Europe in the later 19th century. A less demanding version offering a similar appearance could be achieved by using a slip oxide fired at a low temperature. Unlike the true flambé, however, this was easily scratched.