This page features the "El Baul" Antique Gallery in Torremolinos which has been owned by my colleague, Michael Martin, for the past 43 years.  If you would like valuations, to sell or buy items, or simply just advice, you will be most welcome here.   Michael is a fellow volunteer for the charity "AGE CONCERN" and acts as an appraiser and valuer of all things antique to their members. 

Here we feature part of our huge find of antique Turkish ceramic tiles from Kutahya discovered in a derelict Malaga warehouse.  Also shown is a tiny selection of the vast current number of artifacts and antique items on display.





SEVERAL YEARS AGO in a run down storage warehouse hidden in the industrial zone of Malaga we discovered rows and rows, floor to ceiling, of these crumbling decaying wooden crates which were held in the upright position by the clever use of a lot of abandoned bicycles wedged against them. They were left there in the 1980s and apparantly abandoned. After an immense amount of work Michael Martin discovered the descendants of the original owner who died in 1989. He had stored them years before. We opened one box, discovered some pottery tiles and bought them. It was an act which kept us busy for 9 years. Cleaning and the making of new custom built storage/transport boxes took ages and we were only able to sell what we had cleaned and researched in small batches. They were bought locally and internationally by architects, collectors, interior designers and museums. Now we have just three panels left and they are featured below. Coincidentally they are the smallest, a medium and the very largest.

What we discovered were hand made, unglazed pottery tiles from the workshop of Master Ceramacist, Azim Cini, in the small town of Kutahya in western Turkey in the period 1925 to 1945. The towns of Izmit and Kutahya are both built on hillsides of pottery quality clay. Although Izmit was the better known internationally Kutahya was appointed to supply pottery to Government and important offices for the then dominant Ottoman Empire in the 1700s. Azim Cini signed all his work and the signature can be found usually in an outer border. Reference 3507. Size 43 x 34 cms., or 17 x 14 inches. Euros 75.

A reception room in the main Mosque in Washington D.C. has a huge panel made from the same design as the middle sized panel we have.

Panels made to measure fit these columns. The reception room described above can be seen at the far end of this space.

A beautiful side entrance to the Mosque.


DECORATIVE PANEL of 255 underglazed pottery tiles from the workshop of master potter, Azim Cini, in Kutahya which is a small town in western Anatolia (Asiaic Turkey). The nearby town of Izmit is more well known for its pottery but as long ago as the 18th century Kutahya was appointed as the supplier of choice for many state and government buildings throughout the Ottoman Empire. These tiles were made during the peiod 1925 to 1945 and are from the same design as the huge wall panel which is part of the decor of the main Mosque and Islamic Centre in Washington, D.C. (shown above). Our panel is made up of tiles for the centre, borders and corners and measures 4,8 x 1,4 metres which is approximately 15 ft 9ins x 5ft 3ins. The tiles are packed for storage and transport is newly custom made ammunition type boxes. They fit snugly and each tile is separated by padding from the next. They will make a dramatic wall panel or table surface in a stylish home. Reference 3508. Euros 3750.

THIS WALL PANEL was sold by a leading UK auction house. It consists of three square panels mounted together, each panel was 60 cms square and had borders of a further 10 cms.

THE DECORATIVE POSSIBILITIES WERE MANY AND VARIED - in this case a fireplace surround commissioned to fit a particular home. It was sold in London very quickly. In the traditional manner it bears the maker`s name -- Azim Cini -- in the bottom right hand corner of the white column.

WE HAD TO REMOVE ALL THE BOXES from the original warehouse and found some loose and miscellaneous tiles. From these we eventually got round to making up a few small panels of from 4 to 8 tiles which sold quickly. This is the last and will make a unique stand for the coffee pot or simply a desk or table decoration. It is signed in the bottom border. Reference 8000. Size 43 x 34 cms., or 17 x 13 inches. Euros 75.

THE LAST UNIT PRESENTS ENDLESS PERMUTATIONS and is truly a unique opportunity to create one giant rectangular panel or several matching panels in rectangular, square and column shapes. There are 610 tiles of 20 x 20 centimetres or 8 inches square. There are also 379 border tiles each of 20 x 10 centimetres and finally 8 corner tiles. For a quick comparison please look at the photo at the top of this page which shows an enormous panel in a reception room of the Main Mosque and Islamic Centre in Washington, D:C. The 32 crates which hold the 997 tiles of our consignment will give you a panel of the same proportions. Because there are a good number of border tiles in our quantity you may make up several single or matching panels and have enough border tiles to complete them. There will still be ample for smaller panels. This quantity may suit an architectural practice or large interior design company where the tiles may be used in several dwellings or commissions. In the event that one person takes them all any unused ones can be sold on to admirers. (there will be plenty). The photo shows a small panel I made up of just 7 x 7 tiles with a border surround to give you an idea. Reference 3509. Guide price for the complete amount of 997 tiles including their custom made boxes is Euros 16,000. We will work closely with you to ensure the best results.


EL BAUL. ENTRANCE. Below are a few of the many hundreds of fascinating items in stock.

Close up of the designs clearly reveal an Aztec influence. The use of slightly larger tiles and more emphasis on bringing out the terracotta shades from his clay were a later development.

PANEL OF 64 HAND MADE FIRED CLAY TILES mounted on a hessian covered board. This the work of Ron Hitchins, a London based Mexican/English artist and was made in the early 1960s. Reference 8043. Size 106 x 41 cms or 42 x 16 inches. Euros 220.

Close up of his earlier more experimental designs are shown in this work. The tiles were slightly smaller and darker than the subsequent ones which were fired to a terracotta colour. The Aztec motifs provided an endless source of inspiration.

PANEL OF 51 HAND MADE FIRED CLAY TILES mounted on a deep brown hessian covered board. This is an earler work by the Mexican/English artist, Ron Hitchens and dates from the very late 1950s. Reference 8044. Size 109 x 43 cms or 26 x 10 inches. Euros 190.

Close up shows the fine detailed work in creating the design. To this day the hand beating with fine tools used in creating the designs on metal is a permanent background noise in the bazaar.

A HAND BEATEN ANTIQUE TINNED COPPER TRAY made in Persia in the early 1900s. Trays of this beautiful intricate design were used as side tables and were placed on low collapsible wooden bases so hosts and guests could take tea, coffee and pastries. Reference 9000. Diameter 70 cms., or 28 inches, Euros 350.

Close up of the very fine hand beaten design shows the whole spectrum of village life. There are camels, cows, dogs as well as sheep and goats. Minarets line the skyline. A milkmaid is working. The portrayal of the centre village within the circular wall and then the scenes of the countryside outside the protective wall are very unusual and complex.

ANTIQUE HAND BEATEN METAL PERSIAN TRAY from the period circa 1900. Large round trays were quickly placed on collapsible wooden frame tables to provide a base upon which tea, coffee and pastries were served. It requires a long viewing time to absorb the whole scene. Reference 9001. Diameter 68 cms., or 27 inches. Euros 325.

CLOSE UP showing original working mechanism.

ANTIQUE ENGLISH BRASS AND CRYSTAL OIL LAMP, dating from the late Victorian period and in perfect condition. Euros 175.

Close up of the well made, and used, brass tap. Northern European work and very solid.

ANTIQUE SAMOVAR, probably mid 19th century. It is made from copper with a brass tap. Minor inevitable dents commensurate wth good age. Height 43 cms., or 17 inches. Reference 9007, Euros 255.

CLOSE UP of the top showing designs traditionally used in French decorative artefacts.

ANTIQUE BRONZE ADJUSTABLE DESK LAMP. There is little doubt that this lamp is French, late 1800s. Reference 9009, Height 75 cms., or 30 inches. Euros 320.

ANTIQUE MAP OF THE AREA SERVED BY THE PENNY POST FOR THE LONDON REGION AFTER 1860. Although there were variations on cheap postal deliveries as early as the 1680s around London it was not until 1860 that the business was regulated and eventually bought by the govenment of the day. For one penny (the postage stamp for this service was the famous "penny black" so sought after by collectors), customers could have delivered within this rough circle a letter or packet with a maximum weight of one pound (454 grammes). The geographical area was generous and the service revolutionised the postal service. (Perhaps it should be brought back today). The text at the top of the map reads --- "A modern map of the countries (sic) twenty five miles around London. Drawn from accurate surveys, and engraved by J. Ellis." Underneath these words is another inscription which reads "Printed for Carrington Bowles in St. Pauls Churchyard, and Robert Sayer in Fleet Street, London." (You can enlarge to full screen this map by clicking left on your mouse) Reference 3439. Size 46 x 43 cms., or 18 x17 inches. Euros 175.

RARE SPANISH MARITIME ARTEFACT. Immediately after World War 2 the Spanish leader of the day, General Franco, commissioned extensive work on a Spanish submarine presence. This is an on-boat telephone from this era. It is marked on the lower left side with the words "PROYECTOR - EL FERROL DEL CAUDILLIO" Reference 9002, height 49 cms., or 20 inches, mounted. Euros 490.