Saturday - 13 February 2016

Fishing for the ‘right’ Martinware

02 April 2011Written by Anne Crane

THE 16-lot section devoted to Martin Brothers art pottery at Bonhams' latest Ceramic Design sale provided a number of the notable results.

There was only one of the bird figures that are the holy grail for collectors in this field at the auction in New Bond Street on March 16.

This was a 11¾in (30cm) high version signed and dated 1889 that came with the bonus of a very attractive £6000-8000 estimate, which it duly doubled at £15,000.

But there were some good examples of other Martinware work.

These included a large 13¾in (35cm) high version of one of their fish vases, painted with characteristic piscine grotesques on a buff ground and signed and dated 1889, that realised £7000.

There was also a much less characteristic Martinware subject, a pair of 14½in (37cm) high, buff glazed figures of stoneware lions monogrammed WEM, signed and dated 1896-7.

These got away at the lower end of their £15,000-20,000 estimate, a reflection partly of their restored condition but also perhaps the fact that they are not typical Martinware creations.

The buyer's premium was 20/12%.

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