Martin Brothers bird sold to a collector at £13,000 in the Gildings sale in Market Harborough on November 7, along with a Martin Brothers stoneware dog which fetched £8500.

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First up were two classic stoneware grotesques, pictured above, by the Martin Brothers that – much to auctioneer Will Golding’s delight – were brought into the rooms in a shoebox.

A characterful bird standing 5in (12.5cm) high was marked R.W Martin & Bros, London, Southall, 31.3.1914 – making it among the firm’s later productions. It was estimated at £4000-6000 but it sold to a collector at £13,000.

The c.1900, 4½in (11.5cm) tall stoneware dog presented slight cataloguing problems.

It is similar to a jug and cover illustrated in Malcolm Haslam’s 1978 work The Martin Brothers Potters, where it is referred to as a Toby (after Mr Punch’s be-ruffed dog).

However, here the head and body were fused together with the white composite material used on some larger Martin pieces to stabilise firing cracks or flaws. The marks were also unusual, being incised upon a plaster-like material to the underside of the plinth. Also estimated at £4000-6000, it sold to the trade at £8500.

Cotswolds artisan trio


Combining the talents of three Cotswolds pioneers, this oak bookcase sold for £15,000 at Gildings in Market Harborough on November 7.

Combining the talents of three Cotswolds pioneers, a 7ft 3in (2.20m) tall oak bookcase, above, sold to an Australian Arts & Crafts enthusiast at £15,000. Designed by Ernest Gimson, it was made c.1924 by his chief cabinetmaker and successor Peter Waals, with the metalwork supplied by the Sapperton workshops of Alfred Bucknell.

The vendor was a descendant of William Cadbury, probably Gimson and Waals’ greatest patron, with this bookcase bought directly by his nephew Paul Cadbury from Waals’ Chalford workshops. Pitched at £8000-12,000, it brought trade specialists and collectors out in force.