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Jug: C.1224-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Pottery: Martin Brothers
Decorator: Martin, Edwin (Probably)




Salt-glazed stoneware jug with incised and painted decoration.

Thrown and salt-glazed stoneware jug with oviform body and wide neck pinched into a lip in front. The sides of the body are flattened to form eight vertical ribs; the handle, applied between neck and lower body, is opposite the lip. Covered with cream slip and decorated with incisions and painting in blue, brown and buff to depict marine plants and sea-creatures in water. The rim and base are outlined in brown. The underside is slightly concave and mainly unglazed, with the makers' name and date 9-1890 incised in script.


History note: Martin Brothers shop in Brownlow Street, London, where bought in 1899 by Dr. J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 21.5 cm
Height: 9.4 in

Place(s) associated

  • Southall ⪼ Middlesex ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1928-12-07) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr


19th Century, Late#
Production date: dated AD 1890


Robert Wallace Martin (1843-24) and his brothers Walter (1857-1912) and Edwin (1860-1915) were amongst the first ‘artist-potters’ of the late nineteenth century. They designed, made and decorated their own ornamental salt-glazed stoneware, originally using facilities at C.J.C.Bailey’s Fulham Pottery and, briefly, at Shepherd’s Bush. In 1877, they opened their own pottery at Southall, Middlesex, and by 1882 were producing some 5,000 pieces a year. Wallace had originally trained as a sculptor, exhibiting his work at the Royal Academy and elsewhere from c.1863. His younger brothers had learned their skills at Doulton’s, Walter as a thrower and chemist, Edwin as a decorator. Modelled work is generally attributed to Wallace, but otherwise it is thought that the three learned from each other, exchanging skills and sharing roles. A fourth brother, Charles (1846-1910), sold the products – known as ‘Martin-ware’ – from a shop at Brownlow Street, London.

This is one of a number of examples of Martin Brothers’ vases and jugs decorated with an all-over pattern of marine life, which were inspired by Japanese work. The decoration is generally thought to be by Edwin Martin, though Malcom Haslam suggests that Walter E Willy, who worked for the Martins until 1899, may have originally drawn the fish with comical faces (Haslam, 1978,p.71).

School or Style

Art Pottery

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of oxide colours
Whole Incl. Handle Width 18 cm Width 7 in

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: the s in Bros is raised

  • Text: 9-1890/Martin Bros/London & Southall
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Mark

Inscription present: rectangular black label handwritten in black ink

  • Text: A Martinware glazed with salt. Bought from Mr Martin at his shop in Brownlow St about 1896
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Handwritten in black ink
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1224-1928
Primary reference Number: 71621
Old object number: 961
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 15 January 2024 Last processed: Monday 15 January 2024

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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