back to article whacks export ban on 'grotesque' crab made by famous Brit potter bros

Blighty's Ministry of No Fun Allowed* has continued to live up to its nickname by slapping an export ban on a fugly crab ornament that by all rights should be locked in a chest and slung into the deepest abyss never to be seen again. With a malevolent anthropomorphic grin smeared across its face, the salt-glazed stoneware …

  1. hplasm
    Thumb Up


    Thst's awesome!

    I thought the gov't was clamping down on modern artists for a mo.Must check out the Martin Bros...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: wow!

      This article is the kind of non-news I like te read about on Reg.

    2. Chozo

      Re: wow!

      Definitely worth a look

      Fans of the scifi movie Forbidden Planet may find this little guy familiar

    3. td0s

      Re: wow!

      Looks quite a bit like this guy on the right

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: wow!

      "Must check out the Martin Bros"

      Basically they were as mad as a box of frogs. Each and every one. A straightforward pot will cost quite a bit but a Wally Bird...

  2. cheb


  3. LeahroyNake

    Looks like

    Something my 10 year old frequently brings home from school pottery class, I will have to ask him if I can put some of the worst ones on eBay lol

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Looks like

      Looks suspiciously like an early attempt to create a poo emoji.

      Exactly just how old is Mark Zuckerberg?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Looks like

        Hard to know. Lizard people live a long time, and have no hair for the greyness to give it away. That and how do you even get wrinkles on a scaled skin? Though I guess Tortoises manage it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just discovered "Taskmaster" ..

    and in catching up, immediate saw that as a prize item, followed by Greg Davies honest - but fair - assessment ...

    "That is shit !"

  5. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Ia! Ia!

    Cthulhu ftaghn!

  6. jake Silver badge

    One wonders ...

    ... what The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest has to say about the repatriation of most of the contents of the British Museum.

    1. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: One wonders ...

      As Frankie Boyle said on the question of why Britain has so much historically significant foreign art:

      "Gun beats stick".

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: One wonders ...

        Are you suggesting that might makes right?

        1. eldakka Silver badge

          Re: One wonders ...

          Paraphrasing Ash:

          "Right. Wrong. I'm the guy with the gun."

    2. Claverhouse Silver badge

      Re: One wonders ...

      I've never understood the argument that everything should be returned to the village --- nay, the very studio --- wherein it was conceived.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: One wonders ...

        I've never understood why some people think that's the argument being made.

  7. Steve 114

    My Vote

    Could it not be placed centrally on the Cabinet table, and then expert ministers could just be encouraged to get on with whatever their heriditary Civil Servants think wise?

    1. The Nazz

      Re: My Vote

      Nah, i'm sure the Scottish First Minister needs a new paperweight.

  8. Teiwaz

    "at risk of being lost abroad unless a buyer can be found to match..."

    Oh, I know this, it was a Goodies episode 'Culture for the Masses' - shouldn't the price required be one million billion quintillion zillion pounds and two and a half new pence. but that was for a Renoir.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Putting an export ban on them sounds a bit shellfish.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Clam up before we have to use some mussel on you.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Quick! Crab it before it gets away!

      1. Player Piano

        Too late - looks like it got the fugu away.

  10. Semtex451

    It reminds me of an Ex, so it holds an extra dimension of horror.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      But I'm sure your putative offspring would have been complete darlings.

  11. Tromos

    If UK.Gov really wants it to stay...

    ...why are they making it £43,450 less likely that it does?

    1. Cxwf

      Re: If UK.Gov really wants it to stay...

      Then again, maybe that’s WHY they want it to stay. If it sells overseas to a foreign buyer, they wouldn’t be able to collect VAT on it, right?

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: If UK.Gov really wants it to stay...

      It is by no means certain that this sale would be VATable even if sold to a UK buyer.


      If it is sold from a private house and it isn't a business asset, it is outside the scope of VAT.

      If you sell to a qualifying public art gallery, it is exempt.

      If it is sold in order to pay an inheritance tax bill due on it, it is exempt.

      If it is a business sale that is VATable, it would be under the second hand margin scheme, so you would be able deduct the cost of buying it.

      1. Anomalous Cowturd
        Thumb Up

        Re: If UK.Gov really wants it to stay...

        I came here to say the same thing. Whenever I have bought items at an auction house, I have only ever paid VAT on the auctioneer's commission, never the bid price.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I . . . like it.

  13. Paul Herber Silver badge

    If I had the cash spare I'd be interested in finding a new target for my sledgehammer.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Having problems with your spouse? Need a new start??

    Attach the crab monstrosity to a cord, and rig it to drop down in your entryway when your better half walks through the front door. Just make sure to take out some extra life insurance on him/her first.

    1. swampdog

      Re: Having problems with your spouse? Need a new start??

      That's mostly innuendo isn't it?

  15. A. Coatsworth

    Don't see the problem, they were simply making a mask of Falkor the Lucky Dragon[1], the mask fell down when still wet and got squished. No horrors there.

    [1] the fact that they were in the early XX century making props for a 1983 movie is of no consequence. Don't ask how they got the secret of time travel, if you value your soul or sanity in the least.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "[1] the fact that they were in the early XX century making props for a 1983 movie is of no consequence. Don't ask how they got the secret of time travel, if you value your soul or sanity in the least."

      Maybe they had access to a Technicolour Time Machine.

  16. adnim

    Reminded me of

    City of tiny lites

  17. John Savard

    Usual Suspects Innocent

    And here I thought that instead of an artistic treasure concerning which the British government is rightly zealous to preserve as part of its homeland's heritage, this was merely a mass-produced toy that was being banned from export to China because like skeletons or blood in video games it was offensive to cultural sensibilities.

  18. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Would they still prefer it remained in the UK even if its going in a private collection for just a few rich people to see, as say a overseas museum buying it? As it only makes sense to remain in the UK if it is going to be accessible for the public to see it. (not that I would pay to do so as its hideous)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To be fair we export enough crabs to Spain each summer anyway.

    1. jake Silver badge

      From what I remember ...

      ... you lot import far more crabs from Spain every summer than you export.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: From what I remember ...

        "... you lot import far more crabs from Spain every summer than you export."

        What's that Jake? You don't seem the type to have experienced the Brits abroad on a Club 18-30 holiday :-)

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: From what I remember ...

          Where did I say I was abroad with the Brits?

          Well, to be perfectly honest, I was abroad with the Brits, but only because I am a Californian who has spent close to 20% of my life in the UK. But visit Spain with you lot on VACA? No fuckin' way. I have much better things to do with my down time than drinking Harp, Carlsberg or Kronenberg on a beach in Andalusia or Valencia.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: From what I remember ...

            Maybe your time over here didn't coincide with the height of the Club 18-30 craze. It was basically a holiday company for singles to go on holiday for sex and booze, mainly to Spain. So a lot of crabs (and other STDs) probably came back from Spain.

  20. Blockchain commentard

    How come JK Rowling never mentioned Harry had a brother. It's certainly not a fantastic beast !!!!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wait, i thought all things Brexit were approved - I guess Creaxit needs a vote now.

  22. murrby

    Looks like a cane toad:

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    $25000 = 250700 GBP

    250000 USD = 250700 GBP

    That's a different exchange rate than I'm seeing quoted.

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: $25000 = 250700 GBP

      Try it without the VAT tacked on. VAT which likely doesn't apply anyway.

  24. Roj Blake

    The Rising Star of The Tory Party

    It looks a bit like Rory Stewart if you ask me.

    1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      Re: The Rising Star of The Tory Party

      Let some air leak out ... quick dose of botox ... yes, I see where you're coming from!

      Blimey, perhaps I should register on an "Fine Art Appreciation (lack of)" class?

  25. Nick Kew

    Who loses here?

    You say it sold in New York.

    Has some 'merkin buyer ponied up that price, and is now being retrospectively denied his/her purchase? That sounds grossly unfair!

    Or has the price not yet been paid, and now becomes likely to be cancelled? That would be grossly unfair on a vendor who has gone to the trouble and expense of auctioning it, and could've limited bids to British buyers, or else not tried to sell in the first place.

    Either way, shouldn't putting on such restrictions after an auction has taken place render the responsible official liable to compensate someone? Or if not, is Act Of Stooge something you (can) insure against?

  26. blue-eyes

    Zucker Dollars

    How many Libra will they accept?

  27. chrisb2k

    Worth 250k of anyone's money to keep the kids out of the snack cupboard. ROI - less than a year.

  28. cortland

    Too late!

    The image has gone all over the world by now,and will be showing up soon in Chinese toy boxes and advertising.

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