Skinner Auctions Wedgwood, Martin Bros. Pottery and Collection of Ceramic Culinary Molds

BOSTON, Mass. – Dec 23, 2009 – – Skinner, Inc. one of the world’s leading auction houses for antiques and fine art will auction Wedgwood, Martin Brothers pottery, and an unusual and beautiful collection of culinary molds in its upcoming auction of European Furniture and Decorative Arts, featuring fine ceramics.  The auction will be held Saturday, January 9th at 10 a.m. in Skinner’s Boston gallery located at 63 Park Plaza.


Highlighting the ceramics portion of the auction is the culinary mold collection from the estate of Glenna Fitzgerald of Silver Spring, MD.  Decorative culinary molds were a staple in English kitchens of the 18th and 19th centuries.  During the late 19th century, elaborate molded jellies, aspics, and desserts became the height of fashion in the culinary arts, and ceramic mold makers kept pace with an array of decorative and functional molds for the table.  The Fitzgerald collection features many fine examples from this golden period including numerous lots of Wedgwood handpainted conical, wedge, obelisk and dome shaped cores, many with covers, as well as a diverse selection of queen’s ware and pearl ware jelly molds in all sizes and assortments represented by Minton, Davenport, Copeland, and Wilson.

The auction also features a Martin Brothers stoneware “Wally-bird” tobacco jar, dated 1887.  In October 2009, Skinner set a record when it sold a Martin Brothers glazed stoneware barrister “Wally-bird” tobacco jar and cover for $82,950 in its auction of the Richard Wright Collection of Decorative Arts & Furniture.

Other ceramic offerings in this auction include an assortment of Wedgwood including unusual black basalt Wedgwood, a variety of jasper wares including a black jasper dip Apotheosis vase and cover; a rare 18th century blue jasper bough pot; and a blue jasper Borghese vase and cover.  Also featured is a very nice collection of Keith Murray wares.  Fine examples of Victoria and lustre ware are also represented, plus a variety of table wares in creamware, a rare blue enamel decorated salt-glazed stoneware figure of a hawk, and a pair of salt-glazed stoneware bear jugs.  A nice grouping of German faience tankards and Dutch delft tile pictures round out the sale.

Decorative Arts

Notable decorative arts up for bid include the auction catalog’s cover lot:  a very extensive Empire Paris Porcelain Dinner Service made and decorated by Stone Coquerel et Le Gros with scenes from the history of Rome.  This highly decorative service may have been owned by a member of royalty, as its provenance is:  By repute, this set was once owned by Mary, British Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood.

Fine bronzes include a large bronze figure of an elephant and riders being attacked by lions by Henry van Wolf (German/American, 1898-1982), and three Austrian cold painted bronze boudoir lamps, depicting exotic Arabian scenes.  The back cover lot, designed by Franz Bergman is a particularly large example.  Bergman was the most famous maker of Viennese cold painted bronzes.  The auction also features some superb examples of period lighting including a Fine Louis XV/Regence Style Ormolu and Patinated Metal Six-Light Torchiere measuring over 7 feet in height and a Pair of Large Louis XV Style Parcel-gilt and Patinated Bronze Eight-Light Candelabra, with cherub form stems.


Among furniture offerings is a fine American Eastlake “Standard Grade” Burl Walnut and Parcel-gilt Wooton Desk.  Developed by the William S. Wooton company of Indianapolis, Indiana, Wooton’s patented design captured both the need for file storage in the increasingly industrialized world of the mid-late 19th century, as well as the Victorian audience’s desire for novelty designs, flexibility of use, and conspicuous consumption.  Wooton desks came in stepped levels of decoration termed by the company, ranging from “Ordinary Grade” to “Superior Grade.”

Other furniture and clock offerings include an impressive Louis XVI Style Gilt-bronze and Rouge Marble Mantel Clock, a large Louis XV style bracket clock, and a Regency mahogany and calamander dining table, and a French Empire Fruitwood Marquetry-inlaid Rosewood and Bronze-mounted Piano by Erard of Paris.

Previews, Catalog and Bidding

Previews for the auction will be held on Thursday, January 7th from 12 to 5 p.m. and Friday, January 8th from 12 to 8 p.m.  Illustrated catalog #2490 is available by mail for $35 ($42 for foreign requests) from the subscription department at 508-970-3240.  It is also available at the gallery for $32.  Prices realized will be available during and after the sale.  Skinner’s site also allows users to view all lots in the auctions, leave bids, order catalogs, and bid live in real-time through SkinnerLive!.

Special Event

On Friday, January 8th, Skinner will host a special lecture event in its Boston gallery: “Transparent Delights:  The Extraordinary History of Molded Desserts in Georgian England”, presented by celebrated British Food Historian Ivan Day.   The event reception will be held at 6 p.m. followed by the lecture at 7 p.m.  All those interested in attending should R.S.V.P. to 617.350.5400.

About Skinner

Skinner, Inc. is one of the world’s leading auction houses for antiques and fine art.  With expertise in over 20 specialty collecting areas, Skinner draws the interest of buyers from all over the world and its auctions regularly achieve world record prices.  Skinner provides a broad range of auction and appraisal services, and it is widely regarded as one of the most trusted names in the auction business.   Skinner’s appraisal experts regularly appear on the PBS-TV series, Antiques Roadshow, and its specialty departments include American Furniture & Decorative Arts, American & European Paintings & Prints, European Furniture & Decorative Arts, 20th Century Design, Fine Ceramics, Fine Silver, Fine Jewelry, Couture, Fine Musical Instruments, Asian Works of Art, Fine Wines, Rare Books & Manuscripts, Oriental Rugs & Carpets, American Indian & Ethnographic Art, Fine Judaica, Antique Motor Vehicles, Toys, Dolls & Collectibles, Discovery and Science, Technology & Clocks.  Skinner galleries are located in Boston and Marlborough, Mass.  For more information on upcoming auctions and events, visit Skinner’s website



2 thoughts on “Skinner Auctions Wedgwood, Martin Bros. Pottery and Collection of Ceramic Culinary Molds

  1. I have 2 Martin Brothers vases that I would be interested in consigning or selling privately with you, but wanted to know more about your conditions of sales, and the process of what you need to know before proceeding. and getting an estimate of the net profit from the sale. Please let me know the next steps you wold like me to take to proceed. Hope to hear back from you.
    Cheers Tobias

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