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

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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%.