MARTIN BROTHERS GROTESQUE TORTOISE INKWELL.
This superb Martin Brothers inkwell is very similar in style to there famous grotesque spoon warmers. An exceptionally rare and highly desirable stoneware figure of a tortoise with human face in the typical Martin brothers grotesque style. The shell of the tortoise has a very attractive mottled brown glaze, the tortoise's human face is in a gray glaze with sinister looking eyes, snouty nose and wide open mouth (for holding quill pen & ink). The white glazed base sits on four pad feet. The base is marked, R.W.Martin & Bros Southall B.37, this figure probably dates from Clement Martins period with the company. An exceptionally rare inkwell figure, from extensive research I can find only 4 other similar examples in important advanced collections / museums around the world. Considering that the going rate for a Martin Brothers grotesque bird is in the region of £20,000 / £100,000 depending on size and modeling and that there is easily in excess of 100 known, the Tortoise inkwell is considerably rarer and in my opinion much better value. [Condition: Mint]