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.

The scraffito decorated Martinware vase that sold for £8800 at Bonhams.

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 collector.

The buyer's premium was 20/12%.