Martin Brothers

Martin Brothers pottery is one of the most recognisable areas of the antiques market. The four Martin brothers, Walter, Robert, Edwin and Charles, began producing their wares in 1873 with a kiln at the family home in Fulham. They expanded in 1877, moving to a disused soap works on Havelock Road in Southall, where they continued until 1923.

Their glazed anthropomorphic bird jars are among their most sought-after works, but their vases, jugs and tiles which are often modelled with grotesque caricatures all remain highly collectable.


A travelling passport for Martinware birds

13 August 2018

Gloucestershire-based British art pottery dealer Alison Davey of AD Antiques has created a series of ‘passports’ for Martin Brothers’ birds.

Wally Bird

Dealer launches passport project to identify Martin Brothers Birds

02 August 2018

A Gloucestershire pottery dealer has launched a line of individual passports for Martin Brothers’ pottery “Wally Birds” to help owners record the histories of these widely coveted objects.


Martin Brothers ‘Wally’ birds offered by Gloucestershire dealer

12 March 2018

‘Wally’ birds are among the most coveted of all pieces made by the famous Martin Brothers.


Pioneers of Martinware market in focus at Canadian auction

12 February 2018

When Bill Kime, senior decorative arts specialist at the Waddington’s (20% buyer’s premium) saleroom, was contacted early last year by a couple from British Columbia about selling their collection of Martinware, he jumped at the chance.


Big names bring the impressive prices in Leicestershire

04 December 2017

Two big names dominated the 20th Century Decorative Arts sale held by Gildings (15% buyer’s premium) in Market Harborough on November 7.


Martin Brothers pottery flies into Toronto

20 November 2017

Working in late Victorian London, the Martin Brothers were true studio potters, producing their distinctive, whimsical pieces which today are highly collectable.

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Saleroom selection: 5 upcoming lots of Martin Brothers pottery

10 November 2017

The highly recognisable stonewares by the Martin Brothers pottery remain a popular collecting area and examples appear with some regularity at auction. Here, we pick out a selection of items available this month, with estimates ranging from £200 to £20,000.


Where’s Wally? In the Etwall saleroom

16 October 2017

Among the most coveted of all Martinware is the ‘Wally’ bird. These quirky and grotesque jars (really caricatures of people in Victorian London), were produced from the early 1880s onwards and were named after their maker Robert Wallace Martin, one of four brothers who ran the famous British pottery.


Previews: £30,000 plus

03 July 2017

AD Antiques, run by British art pottery specialist Alison Davey, is selling this grotesque spoon warmer by the Martin Brothers.


Martinware birds help Kingham & Orme’s debut auction take flight

24 February 2017

The first sale by dealers-turned-auctioneers Kingham & Orme made a hammer total of £289,490 and was led by a Martin Brothers bird.

Martin Brothers Wally bird

Martin Brothers birds fly into Texas saleroom

15 November 2016

The quirky characterful and very British art pottery created by the late 19th/early 20th century artist potters Wallace, Robert and Edwin Martin is as popular in the US as in its country of origin.

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Phillips set new high for Martin Brothers

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).

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Phillips migrate Martinware to New York while Greenslade’s gourds surface at Salisbury auction

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.

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Martin Brothers bird flies to record £75,000

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.

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‘Unseen’ Hoffman collection of art pottery includes exceptional Martinware models

02 April 2014

New York has hosted three key events in the modern commercial history of the Martin Brothers.

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Demon jar tempts buyers at BADA fair

24 March 2014

Among the sales in the first hour of the ‘BADA Antiques & Fine Art Fair’ was this 5in (13cm) high Martin Brothers grotesque demon jar and cover.

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Rare bird sets Martin Brothers record

24 June 2013

This stoneware bird jar dated 1891 established a new auction record for Martin Brothers when it made £67,000 at the latest Arts and Crafts sale held by Woolley & Wallis.


Martin Bros at their best

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.


Martinware – more than just chasing birds

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.


Fishing for the ‘right’ Martinware

02 April 2011

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