"When you enter the shop… you find yourself in a dim-lit passage
with crowded shelves of stoneware jugs carved into leering,
laughing, grinning and ogling heads, jostling with the most
impossible, and most fascinating, pot birds with strangely
This is how Holbrook Jackson described his first visit to a
small pottery dealership situated in Brownlow Street, Holborn in
1910. He was not the first, nor the last, to be captivated by the
eccentric creations of the four Martin Brothers.
Today, Martin Brothers pottery forms a unique collecting niche
and has become one of the most recognisable and interesting areas
of the antiques market.
by Roland Arkell
From the ATG Archive
02 April 2014
New York has hosted three key events in the modern commercial history of the Martin Brothers.
10 December 2012
While anthropomorphic bird figures have long been seen as the most desirable products of the Martin Brothers’ art pottery, recently there has been an upsurge in demand for their equally characterful grotesque models.
20 June 2009
JUST when you thought it was safe to go back into the softening Martinware market, along comes a £26,000 spoon-warmer.
ATG Site Search
31 December 2015
Phillips set a new high for Martinware with the sale of this 14in (36cm) high bird jar modelled as Benjamin Disraeli for a double-estimate $190,000 (£126,670).
20 June 2014
Knocking others off their perch, Salisbury’s Woolley & Wallis improved upon their own auction record for Martin Brothers with the £75,000 sale of this bird jar to Gloucestershire British art pottery dealers AD Antiques.
29 October 2015
Two single-owner collections of Martinware – each exceptional in their own way – will appear for sale on either side of the Atlantic this autumn.
29 June 2012
Bonhams have integrated Lalique back into their broader mix of 20th century design auctions.
16 January 2015
Annual auction totals hold steady across provincial salerooms.
08 October 2011
THE famous caricature birds crown the top of the tree for Martinware collectors. This is still a strong market where, feels Bonhams’ specialist Mark Oliver, a really top-calibre model could command £40,000 if it came on the market.