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.
Standing 14in (35cm) high and dated 9-1898, it was
deemed a particularly characterful creation with a knowing glance,
plumage heightened in blue and green, and a broad flat beak glazed
in iridescent brown. It was in perfect condition and was sold with
its original ebonised wood base and a paper factory label still
adhered to the neck.
The estimate for the auction on June 19 was £20,000-30,000 and
the price, with the 22% buyer's premium added, was £91,500.
A 16½in (42cm) high bird jar dated 1891 held the previous high for
Martin Brothers when it took £67,000 at the equivalent sale in
2013. Prior to that the record was set by the Salisbury rooms in
November 2012 when a gargoyle fetched £50,000.
Also bettering these sums last week was another 14in (35cm) high
Robert Wallace Martin bird from the same source - a house in
Hampshire where both birds had been shown under glass domes which
were glued fast to the bases.
Incised R W Martin & Bros, 2-1899, London &
Southall, and again with a paper label to the neck, it sold
for £70,000, again to AD Antiques, who bought the top three lots in
a 44-lot Martinware section that collectively took £315,620.
Alison Davey of AD Antiques told specialist Michael Jeffery the
two birds were the first she had seen that merited 10/10.
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