Martin Brothers Sale Highlights
Posted in: News on September 27, 2019.
Spread across forty-eight lots, our September sale offered a single owner collection of Martin Brothers ware, bringing in a total hammer price of just over £118,000 (plus buyers premium), it was one of our most memorable auctions to date.
The collection was gathered by Samuel L. M. Avery, a master builder and acquaintance of the Martins, who lived near to their Southall Pottery, and it has remained in his family ever since. It was only following the recent passing of his daughter that her children discovered the items hidden away in her Egham home. Whilst they knew that there were examples ‘somewhere’, (having grown up with them around the house as children), they were in the dark as to the extent of the collection and exactly where it had been left. It was found wrapped up in newspaper dated 1971.
Although he wouldn’t have known it at the time, Avery was amassing a particularly impressive collection, with examples ranging across several years and included many of the familiar Martin Ware items, such as the grotesque ‘face mugs’ and aquatic vases, but also some architectural elements and terracotta plaques produced by Robert Wallace Martin prior to him setting up the family business.
Sale highlights included a 1904 triple bird group, the hammer falling at £32,000, two stoneware chess pieces, each modelled as knights (£5,500), a large bulbous vase decorated with dragons (£4,600), two ‘grotesque’ spoon warmers (£3,000 and £6,000 respectively) and a large Robert Wallace Martin stoneware ‘Wally Bird’ jar cover, (£3,400). The sale also saw nine individually lotted double-sided face mugs, with hammer prices ranging from £2,100 to £3,800.