Martin Brothers Stoneware

Eclectic, unique pottery

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Martin Brothers Stoneware Bird Tobacco Jar, 1907

modelled and painted with spotted plumage in tones of purple, black, blue, green and brown, on a turned wood base
overall height 8.5" — 21.6 cm.


December 06, 2017

Estimate $15,000-$20,000

Realised: $48,000

Working in late Victorian-era London, the Martin Brothers are considered to have been pioneers in transforming decorative arts from the stale formalism of the Victorian era to a more whimsical and naturalistic style that foreshadowed the Art Nouveau movement.

While holding appeal to the eclecticism characteristic of Victorian times, many of their sculptures took on disturbing and bewildering forms and personalities. The most celebrated examples can be found among Robert Wallace Martin’s grotesque bird sculptures, which may function as tobacco jars or vases, but are highly stylised to resemble the sometimes deviant human subjects after whom they were modelled.

Eclectic to the core, the Martin Brothers’ work bears the influence of art and architecture from the Middle Ages and Gothic periods, but much of their unique pottery exists in a category of its own.

Among recognizable Martinwares, their sculpted ‘face jugs’, gothic stoneware vases and spoon warmers resembling monsters, portrayals of mythical creatures and classical figures, and the use of sea life motifs and other fantasy-imbued images are all very well represented in this collection.

Waddington’s was privileged to offer an extraordinary private collection of Martin Brothers stoneware in December 2017. Compromised of close to 100 items, the total for the entire collection was $480,000, with individual lots such as a Stoneware Bird Tobacco Jar, which sold for $48,000.

(INSERT LOT 25)


Related Items

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Martin Brothers Stoneware Imp Musician Playing a Harp, c.1906-10

covered with a mottled brown and buff glaze, on an ebonised wood base
overall height 5.6" — 14.2 cm.


December 06, 2017

Estimate $1,500-$2,000

Realised: $4,800

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Martin Brothers Stoneware Bird Tobacco Jar, 1914

modelled with short beak and slightly raised wings, coloured in tones of blue, green and brown flecked with red, on an ebonised wood base
overall height 9.1" — 23 cm.


December 06, 2017

Estimate $15,000-$20,000

Realised: $30,000

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Martin Brothers Stoneware Bird Tobacco Jar, 1904

modelled with raised head and folded wings, coloured in shades of blue, green, brown and cream, on an ebonised wood base
overall height 9.8" — 24.8 cm.


December 06, 2017

Estimate $10,000-$15,000

Realised: $31,200

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Martin Brothers Stoneware Bird Tobacco Jar, 1880

the plump bird modelled with pointed beak and webbed feet, coloured in tones of blue, green, brown and cream
height 9" — 22.8 cm.


December 06, 2017

Estimate $10,000-$15,000

Realised: $28,800

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Martin Brothers Stoneware Face Jug, 1897

modelled with a smiling face on either side, coloured in tones of light brown, black and cream
height 9.5" — 24.2 cm.


December 06, 2017

Estimate $2,500-$3,500

Realised: $9,000

Decorative Arts & Design

Decorative Arts at Waddington’s encompasses a broad and diverse variety of objects. We are specialists in bronzes, items of Canadian historical interest, ceramics, devotional works of art, glass, lighting, militaria, mirrors, objets de vertu, porcelain, silver, scientific instruments, travel and exploration maps, and fine rugs and carpets.

Meet the Specialist

Bill Kime
Bill Kime

Ceramics, Glass and Silver Specialist

Decorative Arts & Design

bk@waddingtons.ca

416-847-6189

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