Sunday, 19 November 2017

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Martin Brothers bird jar beats estimate by 132%

The Martin Brothers bird jar grotesque headlined a sale on November 18



A long-beaked bird jar led Heritage Auctions' sale of a collection of Martin Brothers stoneware on November 18.

It achieved $81,250 against an estimate of $35,000, an increase of 132.1%.

Martin Brothers Grotesque
The Martin Brothers opened their workshop in London in 1873

The brothers opened their pottery business in London in 1873 - swiftly establishing a reputation as highly skilled craftsmen.

They are best known for their bird grotesques, which are among the most sought after examples of their output.

The brothers continued to work up until the outbreak of the first world war and then only intermittently from 1918 to 1923.

The present lot dates to 1884, when they were at the height of their abilities.

The quality of each piece varies widely and the best examples are in huge demand.

The record for any piece of Martinware is $190,000, set at Phillips last year.

Nick Dawes, vice president of Heritage Auctions, told Paul Fraser Collectibles: "These are very rare items and enormously important pieces of ceramic art.

"They are not often seen at auction and tend to attract a lot of attention.

"While they are something of an acquired taste, they are beautiful objects that were produced with a tremendous amount of skill.

"They inspire a great degree of passion in those collectors who are drawn to them."

The sale also included pieces from other masters of 20th century design, including a Lalique crystal Frise Sapin et Branches vase that sold for $45,000.

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Images: Heritage Auctions

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Last updated: 21 November 2016