School of Art

Contact Details

School of Art
Aberystwyth University
Buarth Mawr
SY23 1NG

Tel: +44 (0)1970 622460

Fax: +44 (0)1970 622461


Display artist/maker:

Martin Brothers

   Active: 1873-1914

Often considered the first British studio potters, Martin Brothers comprised the fraternal quartet of Robert Wallace (1843-1924), Charles Douglas (1846-1910), Walter Frazer (1859-1912) and Edwin Bruce (1860-1915).

Robert studied ceramics and sculpture at Lambeth School of Art, c.1860 and became the main sculptor for the business. He is best known for his strange birds (Wally birds) and humourous mugs with faces influenced by Gothic grotesques. Charles acted as business manager while Walter was the principal thrower. Their work was influenced by Japanese art and included flower and animal motifs in the muted colours characteristic of salt-glaze technique.

The firm was originally founded in 1873 and was based in Fulham but in 1877 they moved to Southall. They opened a showroom in Holborn after 1979 which was only closed in 1910 after a serious fire. After 1900 Edwin’s work became more experimental with an emphasis on shape and glaze rather than applied decoration.

Their kiln in Southall was fired usually only twice a year and they would expect a loss of about a third of their work on each firing. Sidney Greenslade, the buyer for the Arts and Crafts Collection at Aberystwyth was a close friend and advisor of the brothers and it had been his intention to publish a book on their work. His extensive notes and correspondence with them are held in Ealing Central Library.

Objects in the collections associated with this artist/maker

[Baluster vase] C4 Ceramics

[Blue vase with incised wavy line decoration] C27 Ceramics

[Bottle] C14 Ceramics

[Bottle] C19 Ceramics

[Bottle] C25 Ceramics

[Jug] C17 Ceramics

[Jug] C36 Ceramics

[Jug] C37 Ceramics

[Jug] C5 Ceramics

[Shaped vase] C2 Ceramics

[Shaped vase] C3 Ceramics

[Small jug] C20 Ceramics

[Small vase] C16 Ceramics

[Small vase] C18 Ceramics

[Small vase] C21 Ceramics

[Small vase] C24 Ceramics

[Small vase] C38 Ceramics

[Small vase] C39 Ceramics

[Small vase] C40 Ceramics

[Small vase] C41 Ceramics

[Small vase] C6 Ceramics

[Small vase with narrow neck] C1 Ceramics

[Vase] C10 Ceramics

[Vase] C11 Ceramics

[Vase] C12 Ceramics

[Vase] C13 Ceramics

[Vase] C1436 Ceramics

[Vase] C15 Ceramics

[Vase] C22 Ceramics

[Vase] C23 Ceramics

[Vase] C26 Ceramics

[Vase] C28 Ceramics

[Vase] C29 Ceramics

[Vase] C30 Ceramics

[Vase] C31 Ceramics

[Vase] C33 Ceramics

[Vase] C34 Ceramics

[Vase] C35 Ceramics

[Vase] C42 Ceramics

[Vase] C7 Ceramics

[Vase] C8 Ceramics

[Vase] C9 Ceramics

Wally Bird C32 Ceramics