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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.


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£17,000 Martinware tortoise emerges from hibernation

24 August 2020

This Martin Brothers stoneware model of a tortoise with a mirthful face was a very welcome discovery for auctioneer Rupert Toovey on a post-lockdown valuation in the Surrey Hills.

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The Box catches the Martinware crab

24 February 2020

The Box, a museum, gallery and archive set to open in Plymouth in May, has acquired a ‘colossal and extraordinary grotesque grinning crab’ by the Martin Brothers.

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Record-breaking Martin Brothers grinning crab saved for nation heads to Plymouth after export block

19 February 2020

A new museum in Plymouth has acquired a ‘colossal and extraordinary grotesque grinning crab’ by the Martin Brothers after fundraising to keep the sculpture in the UK.

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Collector with an eye for the birds

04 November 2019

A sale at Rago Auctions (25% buyer’s premium) in its New Jersey rooms offered potential buyers the Andrew Furer and Elle Douglas collection: 27 lots of Martinware (mostly composed of the potters’ iconic Wally Bird creations).

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Two more Martin Brothers collections offered at Woolley & Wallis

04 November 2019

A large selection of around 250 lots of Martin Brothers wares will be offered in the next British Art Pottery sale at Woolley & Wallis on November 27.

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Martinware: Return of Avery’s ʻlost’ menagerie

04 November 2019

‘Dream’ Martinware cache from family of factory patron surfaces for sale in Berkshire

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Five key dates in the modern history of Martinware collecting

04 November 2019

The modern market for Martin Brothers pottery has been defined by key exhibitions and the sales of important collections. Here is ATG's pick of five events in the last 50 years.

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Martin Brothers' wally birds on parade in New Jersey

16 September 2019

A single-owner collection of 27 pieces of Martin Brothers art pottery will be included in the Design sale series to be held by Rago auctions in Lambertville, New Jersey.

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Martinware on offer from family patron of the potters

02 September 2019

Maidenhead auction house Dawson’s is to sell a collection of Martinware on behalf of descendants of an important patron of the Southall pottery.

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Record-breaking Martin Brothers grinning crab barred from export

18 June 2019

A ‘colossal and extraordinary grotesque grinning crab’ by the Martin Brothers that sold at auction last year has been temporarily barred from export from the UK.

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Crab grabs Martin Brothers record at Phillips’ auction

21 December 2018

A new auction record for the idiosyncratic stonewares of the Martin brothers was established at Phillips’ Design sale in New York.

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Previews: £30,000 plus

03 December 2018

Believed to be unique, this grimacing stoneware dog jar and lid from the Martin Brothers pottery is up for auction at Salisbury saleroom Woolley & Wallis on December 12.

Martin Brothers pottery at Phillips auction

The bird, the crab, the clock, the lawyer – four rare pieces of Martin Brothers pottery on view in London ahead of Phillips’ New York sale

07 November 2018

An awesome foursome of Martin Brothers figures are on show in London this week at a public viewing being held at auction house Phillips ahead of the sale of the works in New York next month.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.