LONDON, June 18 (Xinhua) -- British arts minister Rebecca Pow stepped in Monday to place an export ban on one of the earliest pieces of sculptural art pottery in Britain.
The work, a large anthropomorphic crab made by Robert Wallace Martin and his brothers, is at risk of being lost abroad unless a buyer can be found to match the asking price of 327,500 U.S. dollars.
"I hope that a buyer can be found so we can keep this work in this country to inspire future generations of potters," said the arts minister.
The salt-glazed stoneware crab, made in 1880, is described as a striking example of Robert Wallace Martin's grotesque sculpture. Its recent sale broke the record price for one of their works.
The Martin Brothers were independent pottery manufacturers in London in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century who produced a distinct type of ceramic sculpture and pottery inspired by gothic art and the natural world.
"The Martin Brothers are famous for creating unique and unusual works that are entertaining yet at the same time unsettling," Pow said.
Art expert Sir Hayden Phillips said: "The Committee considered it was of outstanding importance for the study of late-Victorian art pottery and the work of the Martin Brothers."