|£240,000 of Martinware Pottery Stolen From Pitzhanger Manor-House|
Professional thieves in and out in six minutes forcing exhibition closure
Ealing Council’s Pitzhanger Manor-House has had to temporarily close its Martinware Pottery exhibition after a professional burglary wiped out their collection.
Thieves broke into the house at around 2.50am on Thursday, 22nd March and stole 22 items, which have an estimated value of £240,000. They also stole the replica top of the Martinware Fountain.
The thieves got in through a window behind the Martinware Fountain. This allowed them to gain access to the room where the fountain was on display and then enter the Martinware room. The alarm log shows the thieves were in and out within six minutes.
The council is appealing for anyone with information on the theft to come forward. The unique pottery has increased in value in recent years which has made it more appealing to professional art thieves.
Martinware Pottery is a very distinctive type of stoneware pottery created by the four Martin Brothers from the 1870s through to the early 1900s. The brothers were best known for their bird sculptures and ‘grotesque’ pieces, including jugs and vases.
Director of Cultural Services Peter Lipman said: “The council deeply regrets that such a valuable public collection has been targeted by thieves.
“Pitzhanger Manor-House has an extensive alarm system but it is clear that the thieves knew exactly what they were looking for as they were in and out within minutes.
“Because of the importance of this collection, the Martinware room is temporarily closed and the remaining pottery is being stored off-site and will not be shown until the room is made secure. Because the house is a listed building this may take some time to do.
“The council apologises for any inconvenience this may cause and appeals for people’s patience during this time.”
April 4, 2007