Phillips is presenting a collection of 23 stoneware “grotesques” by R.W. Martin & Brothers in their Design Masters Auction (New York, December 15th, 2015). The pieces in the sale, titled Wondrous Beasts, Feathered Fantasies, are coming from a single UK collection and have been gathered over 21 years, since the mid-1990’s. The individual lots range from $10-15k and $80-120k and the entire collection is estimated to realize close to $1 million.
Above Image: R.W. Martin & Brothers, Tall “Jubjub” bird with open beak jar and cover, October 1890, Estimate $60,000 – 90,000
Included in the auction is a unique caricature of former UK Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli. Phillps describes the jar:
“At top lot, a covered tobacco jar modeled as a grotesque bird caricature of former UK Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli from 1889 is estimated to achieve $80,000-120,000. The work shows Benjamin Disraeli chahecterised as a fantastical bird, wings folded behind his back with a sire and knowing gaze on his anthropomorphized face. In the 1850’s Robert Wallace Martin, the eldest of the Martin brothers and the sculptor responsible for these bizarre and wonderful creations, worked as an errand boy for parliamentary reporter Mr.Biggs. The office of Mr.Biggs, located near the houses of parliament, meant that Robert Wallace was surrounded by Gothic revival as well as political figures; both of these would have had an influence on his artistic imagination. “
Preview the Wondrous Beasts, Feathered Fantasies lot by R.W. Martin & Brothers on sale in New York on December 15th in the catalog below. Phillips is a leading global platform for buying and selling 20th and 21st-century art and design. Learn how to bid on items in this auction here.
Design Masters Auction: December 15th, 2015
Viewing: Dec. 9th-15th Dec. 2015
450 Park Avenue. New York, NY 10022
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