Gargoyle…or gargle ?

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The pitcher featured is in the design of a gargoyle-like creature, with its tail curved round to form a handle.

It’s one of the more bizarre “creature” pots and was most likely a decorative piece since it doesn’t look particularly practical, and possibly one of a pair.

The Martin Brothers were very adept at using glazes  to simulate the leathery, reptilian characteristics of lizards and amphibious creatures which adds another dimension to their work, the end result being the uncomfortable sense that these types of Martinware pottery were once alive and now serve a different purpose.

Update : Mystery solved, thanks to Jim Wilkes , whose personal collection of  Martinware pottery is definitely worth checking out – it appears that this piece is in fact a spoon-warmer.

I’ll be posting a more in-depth look at Jim’s website, which, along with his knowledge and insights into the Martin Brothers and individual works will be very useful in future posts.

Updated on 11 / 05 / 2020

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