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.
This jar, inscribed and dated 1900 and
fashioned as a tonsured figure grasping its chest with long taloned
figures, stole the show at
Woolley and Wallis' British Art pottery and 20th century design
auction in Salisbury on November 28.
Estimated to fetch £30,000-35,000, the 6½in
(16.5cm) figure was knocked down for £50,000 (plus 22% premium) to
the art pottery dealer George Kingham, bidding on the phone against
underbidding from the room.
The price is thought be a new auction high
for Martinware pottery.