Robert Wallace Martin first began modelling them in 1880 and continued until the advent of the First World War.
However, the concept was borrowed by other manufacturers.
This 9in (22cm) model of a squat creature with broad beak and owl-like eyebrows is by Royal Doulton. Its form recalls both the Martin Brothers birds and a Jugendstil pewter inkwell by Kayserzinn.
Signed Noke to the base for artistic director Charles Noke and HN for Harry Nixon, who pioneered the Oriental-inspired Chang glaze applied to this piece, it is titled A Quaint Old Bird.
The name appears to be taken from a popular song in the successful musical comedy The Catch of the Season that was first released in 1904.
Possibly a unique piece, it was offered with an estimate of £5000-8000 at Kinghams (25% buyer’s premium) in Moreton-in-Marsh on July 27-28 where it sold for £10,000.