This October we will be offering a wonderful selection of Decorative Arts and Modern Design in our Interiors auction on 26 October. The stand out lot of the auction and gracing the cover of our catalogue, is a rare stoneware grotesque tobacco jar by Martin Brothers, estimated at £30,000-50,000 (+ fees).
Here Ashley Matthews, Decorative Arts and Modern Design specialist, tells you more about this piece and explains why it is so rare.
A distinctive design, for which the Martin Brothers were well known for producing, grotesque figures were something of an obsession of Robert Wallace Martin. The eldest of the brothers, Robert was the lead designer and founder of the company. The rim of the lid of the present lot is incised with his signature.
Dating from March 1900, Lot 89 is something of a rare survivor. The Martin Brothers had a rather eccentric way of working, whereby they only lit the kiln once a year and without protective saggars. Due to this strange practice, they had a high rate of losses, leading to a small output. One year it was even reported that only one work survived!
This oddly charming figure is modelled with eyes narrowed above a grimace, grasping its protruding chest with its long bony fingers and pointed nails.
Tuesday 26 & Wednesday 27 October | 10.30am BST
Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2JE
Day One | Browse the auction
Day Two | Browse the auction
View page turning catalogue
Visitors are encouraged to wear a face covering while in the building, use the hand sanitiser provided on entering and observe social distancing rules. We may need to restrict the numbers of visitors viewing at one time, so if you would prefer to book an appointment in advance, please contact us. To book an appointment to view, please email: email@example.com or call 44 (0) 1635 553 553.
Image: Martin Brother’s Wally Bird | Robert A. Ellison Jr. Collection | Metropolitan Museum of Art, CC0 Image/Article: 'Pottery of Four Dedicated Brothers' | Country Life, 23 March 1961 | Licensed via Future Publishing Limited. Music: 'Autumn' created by Kevin Graham | Artlist
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