Martin Brothers bird-form vessels (often referred to as “Wally Birds” after their creator Robert Wallace) are, for most of us, aspirational items. Largely made to resemble leading political and industrial figures of their time and rendered in the manner of caricature pioneered by the 19th-century English satirical magazine Punch, these whimsical works were eagerly sought-after by London’s “chattering classes”. Commissions for their production came from aristocrats including Lord Faringdon and Sir William Drake. Robert Wallace Martin, the artist genius behind the sculpting of the birds, began his career as an apprentice for Charles Barry on the redesign of the Palace
It has been 12 months since we exhibited at an antiques fair and I have certainly missed seeing our clients and to exchange news about ceramics, adventures and family. However life must go on and with an already strong web presence we have moved to dealing exclusively online, for the time being at least. Antiques and art are probably regarded as wants rather than needs, but in these times where we have been deprived of the richness of life’s senses the lines are becoming increasingly blurred. The simple pleasure of art – the emotional reaction and engagement – is something
Shortly before the New Year i had the privilege of visiting Winchester Cathedral and had a very inspiring tour by one of their guides Simon Newman who is also a photographer. The building is probably the most intriguing and highly ornate cathedrals I have visited and a particular treat was to be found in an anti-chapel with a series of stained glass windows by William Morris and Company, several of the designs by Burne Jones. Other highlights included sculpture by Barbara Hepworth, the grave of Jane Austin, hundreds of pagan carvings cheekily hidden by the stone masons and wood workers
We have had a busy start to 2015 with the Battersea Decorative Fair and our very own “January Sale”. Both were successful ventures and a lot of stock has been sold. Last week Alison visited London where she viewed and purchased 2 collections which have quickly been featured on the website. During the same trip she sold 8 items to an African Chief; it seems that the appeal of British Art Pottery is growing all the time. Next week will be an exciting one; delivering 3 fine pieces of ceramic in exchange for a number of pieces of Pilkingtons lustre.
AD antiques had enjoyed a lively Autumn with numerous international private and website sales including the featured Martin Brothers Grotesque that flew to America this week. However one of the highlights was the LAPADA fair in Knightsbridge. Sales were strong over all the factories and the contemporary ceramics also sold exceptionally well. After the opening day, Peter Beard’s lovely wife Hillary was on the train, holdalls filled with new pots to restock. There were a number of notable sales, including 7 pieces to a single collector and the rare Wedgwood Nizami Malphry Pot found itself a new home in China!
The exhibition is in full swing in the impressive location of Kensington Gardens opposite the Royal Albert Hall. Our stand came together well with an impressive and varied selection of British Art pottery and contemporary ceramics from Heidi Warr, Peter Beard, Victoria Ellis and Fenella Elms.We are positioned opposite Heidi Warr’s demonstration stand. Heidi’s demonstrations are proving so popular that she’s losing her voice! We hope it holds out for the remainder of the fair, her winning smile and skillful talent may have to see her through. Our ADAntiques stand is also proving popular with constant visitors who vary from