Martinware does well at Skinner’s European Furniture & Decorative Arts sale, July 9, 2011

Lots of interesting things have been happening in the antiques world recently. Since I have a bit more time to write about them during the spring and summer, I will be posting new blog entries twice a week, instead of once — Mondays and Thursdays for the next few weeks. So make sure you come back often and tell your friends about my blog!

Skinner’s held their European Furniture & Decorative Arts sale on Saturday, July 9, 2011. In among the diverse offerings were two lots by the Martin Bros. of London & Southall, England. Works by the Martin Brothers have been popular and highly sought after for decades. What’s interesting is that the earlier items from the 1870s and 1880s are fairly undesirable in today’s market. Why, you may ask? Because they’re not “grotesque” — a big compliment in the world of Martinware. Early stoneware items were, for lack of a better word, ordinary. They mostly depicted realistic looking flowers and birds. At some point in the mid to late 1880s, the brothers started producing wares that were strange and zany with fantastic creatures. They also created bird tobacco jars with wonderfully eccentric faces. These are the types of grotesque items that today’s collectors eagerly seek.

Martin Bros. ewer with fish decoration, Skinner's lot #64

Skinner’s lot #64 was a Martin Bros. ewer from 1884, with fish decoration. The decoration shows the direction that they would begin to take a few years later. In this example, the fish are realistically depicted. As a result, I assumed the lot would not do well, but it did. Realistically estimated to sell for $2,500 – $3,500, it reached $4,148, including buyer’s premium.

A later Martin Bros. vase with 'grotesque' fish decoration, not in the Skinner's auction, but illustrated for comparison

Rare miniature Martin Bros. bird jar -- Skinner's lot #65

The next lot, #65, was a rare miniature bird tobacco jar, with removable head, only 3½” tall. It more than quadrupled it’s pre-sale estimate of $1,200 – $1,800, to sell for $9,480, including buyer’s premium — impressive for such a tiny example, but not surprising.

For the complete results of the auction, click on the following link. Skinner’s Decorative Arts results.

Rare Louis Icart etching Miss America

Check out my new acquisitions. I just listed a very rare Louis Icart etching, entitled “Miss America”, plus a gorgeous Daum Nancy pink floral vase; a rare Tiffany Studios desk lamp in the Spanish pattern; several fine Daum vases; a Daum lamp; several Galle vases; and several more Tiffany Favrile vases. Soon I’ll be listing a wonderful Tiffany Studios 7-light lily lamp with beautiful shades and a fine patina. Also coming soon will be several wonderful European ceramic items by Clement Massier, Zsolnay and Amphora. Here’s the link.

3 thoughts on “Martinware does well at Skinner’s European Furniture & Decorative Arts sale, July 9, 2011

  1. Can you tell me what James Kennedy was sentence is. I can’t seem to find it online. I was one of his victims. Thanx.

  2. Sorry you were a victim, but I have no idea of the sentence imposed.

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