DEMAND for Martin Brothers pottery may have tapered off slightly but it still provided three of the top prices at Bonhams’ recent Ceramic Design sale.
Needless to say, it was one of their bird creations that led the
price list on March 18 at £10,000.
The 14.5in (37cm) high model impressed R W Martin IC, London
Southall and dated 5 1885, was never going to
win a beauty contest with one eye closed and the other staring
gimlet-like ahead, but then quirky characterful features are what
these birds are all about.
More importantly its head had undergone considerable repair.
The other two best-sellers were a 10in (26cm) high undated model
of a seated ape c.1890, again with restoration, that sold at £8000
to Florida-based dealer Aaron Rimpley, and a 10in (25cm) sgraffito
vase with decoration of amphibious and grotesque creatures.
Signed and dated 6-1897, this lot extracted the most
condition report requests at Bonhams. It saw huge competition
before selling for a multi-estimate £8800 to a private
The buyer's premium was 20/12%.