Skip to main content

Vase: C.29-1972

An image of Vase

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Alternative views

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)




Pottery: Martin Brothers




Salt-glazed stoneware vase with incised and painted decoration.

Thrown and salt-glazed stoneware vase of elongated ovoid shape on a splayed foot, with gently flaring neck. Covered with pinkish yellow-ochre slip, which gives the appearance of pig-skin or pale leather. Incised decoration, filled with creamy-white slip and with additional grey and brown colours, depicting naturalistic flowers, insects, buds and leaves. The foot, external rim and interior of neck are coloured brown. The glaze is crackled. The underside is flat and glazed, with a raised rim and the makers' name, and date 5-1901, incised in script.


History note: Bequest of Thomas Knox-Shaw, former Master of Sidney Sussex College. Possibly acquired from the Charles and Lavinia Handley Read collection.

Legal notes

Bequest of Thomas Knox-Shaw, 1972

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 11.0 cm
Diameter: 4.5 in
Height: 23.5 cm
Height: 9.25 in

Place(s) associated

  • Southall ⪼ Middlesex ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1972) by Knox-Shaw, Thomas


Early 20th century
Production date: dated AD 1901


Robert Wallace Martin (1843-24), 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’ work decorated with slip painted over the whole surface and an incised pattern filled with clay slip. These techniques, which require the decorator and potter to work closely together, and the naturalistic design which follows and accentuates the form of the vase, suggest the influence of Japanese pottery.

School or Style

Art Pottery

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work


Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Throwing : Thrown and salt-glazed stoneware vase of elongated ovoid shape on a splayed foot, with gently flaring neck. Covered with pinkish yellow-ochre slip. Incised decoration, filled with creamy-white slip and with additional grey and brown colours,

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: s of Bros is raised, Southall has a squiggly line below

  • Text: 5-1901/Martin Bros/London & Southall
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Incised in script
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.29-1972
Primary reference Number: 74206
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Vase" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-06-10 15:12:41

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Vase |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-06-10 15:12:41|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src=""
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Vase</figcaption>

Please enter your name as you would like to be addressed
Please enter your email address
The object accession number - this is prefilled
Please enter your query with as much detail as possible

More objects and works of art you might like


Accession Number: C.1-1934


Accession Number: C.2-1934


Accession Number: C.3-1934

Vase and Cover from a Garniture of Five Vases

Accession Number: C.17.3 & A-1948

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...