Martin Brothers birds sell well at Heritage Auctions’ 20th Century Design sale, November 18, 2016

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


Merry Christmas to those who celebrate and Happy Chanukah to those who celebrate.

Heritage Auctions held their 20th Century Design sale on November 18, 2016, with total sales of $1,368,204. Included in the sale were eight lots of Martinware, including several bird tobacco jars, which continued to sell well.

Martin Brothers bird, Heritage lot #79001

Top lot of this group was #79001, a grotesque bird with long beak. Collectors prize those birds with the most “expression” and this one fit the bill (pun intended). Its height of 14″ was also a big plus. It soared to $81,250, including buyer’s premium, against a pre-sale estimate of $25,000 – $35,000.

Martin Brothers bird, Heritage lot #79004

I particularly liked lot #79004, another Martin bird with a great expression and a hat, 11¾” tall. It sold within its pre-sale estimate of $20,000 – $30,000, realizing $30,000, including buyer’s premium. I would have loved to have bought this bird, but the price was a bit too strong for a dealer.

Martin Brothers triple bird, Heritage lot #79005

Lot #79005 was a rare Martin triple bird, 7¾” tall. It sold above its high estimate of $30,000, realizing $40,000, including buyer’s premium.

For the complete results of the sale, which included Tiffany, Handel, Gallé, Lalique, etc., click here. You will have to sign in (free) to obtain prices.


I recently bought this killer Martin Brother 11½-inch bird.

I recently bought this killer Martin Brother 11½-inch bird.

I’ve been listing on my website many of the new items I’ve recently purchased and I’ll be listing more in the near future, including a couple of fabulous Martin Brothers birds and a great face jug. Please check my site as often as you can.

No more shows in 2016. Our next show will be the NYC Big Flea, the weekend of January 21, at the Lexington Avenue Armory. After that we’ll be in Miami for the Miami Antiques + Art + Design Show, February 3 – 5, 2017. This is the airport show, which will be new and improved, with many additional exhibitors. The changes are happening because the Original Miami Beach Antiques Show will no longer be in Miami Beach, instead changing its name to The Original Miami Antique Show and moving to a new location in southwest Miami. It will all make for an interesting winter season.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Astonishing price paid for a Martin Brothers bird tobacco jar at A.H. Wilkins Auction, Toronto, Canada, November 30, 2016

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


A.H. Wilkins Auctions, Toronto, Canada, held a Fine & Decorative Art auction on November 30, 2016. Included in the sale was a very large Martin Brothers bird tobacco jar. As many of you know already, the Martinware market has been strong for decades and the sale of this bird is proof that it’s still going gangbusters.

Monumental Martin Brothers bird tobacco jar, Wilkins lot #2109

Monumental Martin Brothers bird tobacco jar, Wilkins lot #2109

Lot #2109 was a huge, 20½” tall, Martin Brother bird tobacco jar. It had been part of the famous Harriman Judd collection before being sold at Sotheby’s on January 22, 2001 for $19,200, including buyer’s premium. What a difference a decade and a half makes.

Interestingly it wasn’t a very special bird, as it didn’t have a lot of character and it also had some restoration. That made no difference to the enthusiastic bidders. They pushed it to over double its high estimate of $60,000 CDN, to realize $163,800 CDN (US $123,229), including buyer’s premium. That’s a nice chunk of change and a heck of a return on investment. Personally I had interest in the bird, but for less than the low estimate of $40,000 CDN. Congratulations to both the buyer and the consignor.


I just bought this killer Martin Brother 11½-inch bird.

I just bought this killer Martin Brother 11½-inch bird.

I’ve been listing on my website many of the new items I’ve recently purchased and I’ll be listing more in the near future, including a couple of fabulous Martin Brothers birds and a great face jug. Please check my site as often as you can.

No more shows in 2016. Our next show will probably be the NYC Big Flea, the weekend of January 21, at the Lexington Avenue Armory. If not, we’ll be in Miami for the Miami Antiques + Art + Design Show, February 3 – 5, 2017. This is the airport show, which will be new and improved, with many additional exhibitors. The changes are happening because the Miami Beach Antiques Show will no longer be in Miami Beach, instead moving to a new location in southwest Miami. It will all make for an interesting winter season.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Freeman’s Auction sold three Martin Bros. birds at their Art + Design auction, March 20, 2016

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

Three Martin Brothers bird tobacco jars came up for sale at Freeman’s Art + Design auction on March 20, 2016. Two of the birds sold well, near or exceeding their high estimates.

Martin Brothers bird tobacco jar, Freeman's lot #98

Martin Brothers bird tobacco jar, Freeman’s lot #98

Lot #98 was the top lot of the three birds. With its big beak, great personality and nice size of 11½”, it sold for $46,875, against an estimate of $20,000 – $30,000.

Martin Brothers bird tobacco jar, lot #97

Martin Brothers bird tobacco jar, lot #97

Lot #97 also did well. It sold near its high estimate of $25,000, realizing $27,500, including buyer’s premium. It was slightly smaller than lot #98, but also had plenty of personality.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.


Click on this image to buy tickets

Click on this image to buy tickets

Our next show is less than two weeks away. We’ll be in Glencoe, IL, for the Garden, Antique & Design Show, at the Chicago Botanic Garden, starting April 15th. It’s a beautiful show, with both antiques and gardening, that you’ll absolutely enjoy. We only have two remaining shows in the greater Chicago area, so come and say hi!

If you’re selling, please let me know. If you have what I’m looking for, I’m paying the highest prices. My decisions are quick and my payments just as quick. Just snap a photo and email it to me.

I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. I will continue to list more as often as possible. Please click here to take a look.There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Superb results at Phillip’s Wondrous Beasts, Feathered Fantasies: R.W. Martin & Brothers sale, December 15, 2015

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


Merry Christmas to all who celebrate!

Phillips New York held their Wondrous Beasts, Feathered Fantasies: R.W. Martin & Brothers sale on December 15, 2015, with total sales of $1,592,250 for the very small 23-lot auction. The sale was 100% sold, with a very strong average of $69,228 per lot.

Martin Brothers Disraeli bird, Phillips lot #7

Martin Brothers Disraeli bird, Phillips lot #7

Martin Brothers stoneware has been strong now for years and this auction was affirmation of the trend. Top lot of the sale was #7, a large bird (14¼”), signed and dated 1889, fashioned after the 19th Century English politician, Benjamin Disraeli. Estimated to sell for $100,000 – $150,000, it sold for $233,000, including buyer’s premium — to my knowledge, the world record for any Martin Brothers object at auction.

Martin Brothers armadillo, Phillips lot #13

Martin Brothers armadillo, Phillips lot #13

Second best result was lot #13, a grotesque, smiling armadillo, 11¼” long, signed and dated 1894. It sold for approximately double its high estimate of $70,000, realizing $143,000, including buyer’s premium.

Martin Brothers triple bird, Phillips lot #23

Martin Brothers triple bird, Phillips lot #23

In my opinion, lot #23, a rare triple bird, signed and dated 1908, sold for under the money. Although it sold near its high estimate of $70,000, realizing $75,000, including buyer’s premium, I thought it should have sold for at least $100,000.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.


I’ve been quite busy buying and selling recently, partly because I’ve listed many new items on my website. I really need to buy more, so if you have something great, please offer it to me for sale. I am paying the highest prices of any dealer. My decisions are quick and my payments just as quick. Just snap a photo and email me a jpeg.

I will continue to list more as often as possible. Please click here to take a look.

We’re still very much in business between shows, especially since there are fewer shows nowadays. Please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Lost Fabergé elephant discovered in British Royal Collection

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


The first of the new items --  a great Martin Brothers double-face mug

The first of the new items — a great Martin Brothers double-face mug

Just back from Europe and trying to get my house in order. I’ve been negligent in adding new items to the website, but that’s about to change. Over the next two weeks, I hope to list many new (and great) items that I’ve recently purchased, both on our buying trip and elsewhere. We’ve acquired a treasure trove of goodies, so please check my site often for updates.

Thought you might like to read this interesting article about the discovery of a lost Fabergé elephant. Click Secret Object Hidden in Fabergé Egg Discovered in British Royal Collection – artnet News


winnetka-10-2015Next week we’ll travel to Chicago for the Antiques + Modernism Winnetka show at the Winnetka Community House, November 6-8, 2015. We used to exhibit at shows in the greater Chicago area 4-6 times yearly. Most of them have disappeared, so we now only exhibit in Chicago twice a year, once in the fall in Winnetka and once in the spring at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Too bad, because we like Chicago and have lots of friends and clients. We’re really looking forward to seeing you at the show, so please visit us. You won’t have another opportunity until the spring, when we’ll be back for the Garden, Antique & Design Show at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, IL, April 15 – April 17, 2016.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

The trend at auctions is still strong

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


If you read Monday’s blog, you know that I was almost shut out trying to buy some items at auction this past weekend. I’m happy to report that the trend is continuing. Got outbid at a couple of auctions this week by a mile, so the markets are good.

Important padded and wheel-carved Schneider vase, Auctionata lot #58

Important padded and wheel-carved Schneider vase, Auctionata lot #58

Yesterday I tried to buy an important 9¼” Schneider vase with a padded and wheel-carved medallion at Auctionata in Germany. I left what I thought was a good bid, but it was to no avail. The bidding started at €1,500 and ended at €7,785 ($8,790) — a good price for a collector, but not for a dealer.

Martin Brothers mini spoon warmer, Wright Marshall lot #1231

Martin Brothers mini spoon warmer, Wright Marshall lot #1231

Wright Marshall, Ltd., U.K., held an auction on September 15-16 which included several minor Martin Brothers objects. Included in the group was a small Martin Bros. spoon warmer, slightly over 3″ tall. Estimated to sell for £300 – £400, it realized an impressive £6,200 ($9,615).

No luck this week, but I’ll keep plugging away.


nyc-big-flea-9-2015Our next show will be The Big Flea Market at Pier 94 in New York City, September 26-27. Last year was the first time for this show and it was good. The attendees were completely different than the established Pier Antique Show that takes place in November and March each year, making it a totally different experience.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

I’m happy because I didn’t buy much at auction this past weekend

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


I bid at five auctions this past weekend hoping to buy a few items at reasonable prices. I’m happy to report that prices were strong, so I bought almost nothing. Happy, because if prices are strong, the market is good, and I love a good market.

Martin Brothers musicians, Leland Little lot #373

Martin Brothers musicians, Leland Little lot #373

One lot was #373 at Leland Little’s Fall Catalogue Auction in Hillsborough, NC, on Saturday, September 12, 2015. Three Martin Brothers stoneware musicians (two in perfect condition, one restored) were estimated to sell for $2,000 – $4,000, but sold well beyond my budget, for $8,850, including buyer’s premium. For the complete results of the sale, click here.

Joseph Frances Kernan, Rago lot #2715

Joseph Frances Kernan, Rago lot #2715

The day before, I got a bigger surprise at Rago’s Great Estates auction, Friday, September 11, 2015. I noticed a couple of interesting American Illustration paintings in the manner of Norman Rockwell. Both were by Joseph Francis Kernan, an artist I didn’t know very well, but whose work I admired. Lot #2714 carried a pre-sale estimate of $1,500 – $2,000 and sold for $11,875 after serious competitive bidding from two phone bidders. The same two bid the next lot, #2715, to $17,500, against a pre-sale estimate of $3,000 – $5,000. I was hoping to buy them at or below the low estimates. Goes to show you what I know.

Newcomb College scenic vase, Brunk lot #313

Newcomb College scenic vase, Brunk lot #313

Brunk Auctions may or may not have sold a lovely, large (10¾”) Newcomb College vase for $9,600, including buyer’s premium. I say may or may not because I really don’t know. The pre-sale estimate was $4,000 – $8,000. Auction houses never permit reserves higher than the low estimates, so once the bidding reaches the low estimate, an item is supposed to be sold. The hammer price reached $8,000, so it certainly appeared to have sold, but it’s listed on liveauctioneers as “Lot passed. No bid history.” I assume there’s a good explanation, but as of the publication of this blog post, I don’t know it. I wrote directly to Andrew Brunk, the owner of Brunk Auctions, and he responded that he didn’t know of the problem. It was his understanding that the vase sold at auction for $9,600.

In the meantime, I’ll keep plugging away and get my fair share. Luckily I also have private sources for my goodies, so I hope to be outbid at every auction.


nyc-big-flea-9-2015Our next show will be The Big Flea Market at Pier 94 in New York City, September 26-27. Last year was the first time for this show and it was good. The attendees were completely different than the established Pier Antique Show that takes place in November and March each year, making it a totally different experience.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Some strong results at Bonham’s Los Angeles 20th Century Decorative Arts sale, April 29, 2015

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


Bonham’s Los Angeles held a 20th Century Decorative Arts sale yesterday, April 29, 2015. The offerings were more or less mediocre, but there were a few goodies mixed in — and they did well.

Bronze & ivory figure Thaïs by Demetre Chiparus, Bonham's lot #288

Bronze & ivory figure Thaïs by Demetre Chiparus, Bonham’s lot #288

Top lot of the sale was #288, an Art Deco bronze & ivory figure entitled Thaïs by Demetre Chiparus. It sold for $185,000, including buyer’s premium — near the pre-sale low estimate of $150,000. Apparently the recent problems created by new ivory regulations did not deter the bidders.

Martin Brothers bird, Bonham's lot #224

Martin Brothers bird, Bonham’s lot #224

The Martin Brothers market continued strong, as evidenced by lot #224, a large (12¾”), wildly grotesque bird tobacco jar. Collectors were willing to overlook its condition problems — several chips to the head and the rim and a missing wooden base. The bird flew well beyond the pre-sale estimate of $20,000 – $30,000 to realize $50,000, including buyer’s premium.

Marblehead Panther bowl, Bonham's lot #214

Marblehead Panther bowl, Bonham’s lot #214

The sale began with a nice collection of Marblehead pottery from the collection of the actor, Bruce Willis. Top lot of this group was a rare Panther bowl. It growled its way almost to the high estimate of $30,000, realizing $35,000, including buyer’s premium.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.


No shows until July, when we’ll be in Denver for the Denver World Wide Antique Show, at the Denver Mart, EXPO Building, 451 East 58th Avenue, July 24-26, 2015. In the meantime, we’ll be traveling in Europe. We’re sure to come up with some goodies, so keep an eye on my site for the latest additions. I’ll always be in touch, so please don’t hesitate to email or call.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

The Morristown Armory Antiques Show will open this Saturday, November 1, 2014

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


Morristown-10-2014The Morristown Armory Antiques Show will open this Saturday, November 1st, at 10 AM and close on Sunday, November 2nd, at 5 PM. The Morristown Armory is a nice facility, just outside of town, with plenty of parking. Setup is easy with vehicles allowed to drive right up to their booths. It’s a quick show, with immediate results — either you did well or not. The quality of the show is usually quite good, so it’s worth a trip from anywhere in the greater NY, NJ, CT, or PA area.

We'll have this fabulous Martin Brothers bird at the show

We’ll have this fabulous Martin Brothers bird at the show

We’ll be bringing some outstanding new objects that we’ve just recently acquired, including a fabulous Martin Brothers bird — the first one in a long time. Additionally, we’ll have new Tiffany Studios lamps, including two fine Linenfold examples, a wonderful 18″ Handel scenic lamp, a Daum Nancy scenic blownout vase, an Amphora portrait vase, English cameo vases, and numerous other items. It will be one of the best displays we’ve ever done.
We'll also have this gorgeous Handel 18" scenic lamp at the show

We’ll also have this gorgeous Handel 18″ scenic lamp at the show


Our next show, of four in a row, will be the Antiques + Modernism Winnetka show, in a suburb of Chicago. That will be followed by the Kansas City Antiques Expo, and then our final show of 2014, back at the Pier in NYC for the usual November show. Remember to check my website for the latest items and keep reading my blog. Tune in Monday for the results of the Morristown Armory Antiques Show.

Click here to view our new website and look around. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.

Martin Brothers birds still flying high at Woolley & Wallis Arts & Crafts sale, June 18, 2014

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

Woolley & Wallis, of Salisbury, UK, held their Arts & Crafts sale on June 18, 2014 with total sales of £651,200 ($1,117,231). 44 of the 593 lots were Martinware ceramics, which sold collectively for £385,000 ($660,525) — more than half the value of the entire sale. In particular, two birds each flew out the door for over $145,000.

Lovely Martin Brothers bird, Woolley & Wallis lot #148

Lovely Martin Brothers bird, Woolley & Wallis lot #148

Lot #148 was a tall (13¾”) Martin Brothers bird from 1898, with a lot of personality — just what the collectors were looking for. It soared to £91,500 ($156,982), against a pre-sale estimate of £20,000 – £30,000 ($34,313 – $51,469).

Superb Martin Brothers bird, Woolley & Wallis lot #149

Superb Martin Brothers bird, Woolley & Wallis lot #149

The next lot in the sale, #149, was another Martinware bird, a year younger, from 1899, the same height, 13¾”, and equal personality. It rocketed to £85,400 ($146,516), against the same pre-sale estimate of £20,000 – £30,000 ($34,313 – $51,469).

There’s no doubt Martinware collectors put their money where their mouths are. There are some great collections forming around the world.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.

This lovely Tiffany Favrile decorated vase just arrived

This lovely Tiffany Favrile decorated vase just arrived


It’s summer, and we’re getting ready to start our summer circuit of shows in Denver on July 25th. We’re still very much in business. Click here to view our new website and look around. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.