This is a rare and gorgeous Belleek cabaret teapot set in the green Neptune design, consisting of a teapot, a milk jug and a sugar basin, all placed on a small tray. All items carry the 2nd Black Mark, which was used between 1891 and 1926. 

 

If you ever thought Belleek fine china looks, sounds and feels unique, you are right. There is a back story to this extraordinarily fine Irish eggshell porcelain, which has an unusually high amount of "frit" and therefore is thinner and finer than any other china.

 

Pottery in Belleek (in the now Northern-Irish area of Fermanagh) had started in 1849 with John Caldwell Bloomfield, who was a wealthy land owner. During the Irish famine he realised that unless he would find a way for his tenants to make a profit off the land, they would starve. Agriculture had become impossible due to the diseases caused by mono culture. This caused millions to starve and more millions to leave. As an amateur mineralogist, John Caldwell Bloomfield realised that his land had exactly the right mineral deposits to be used as clay for porcelain. He involved several investors and scientists and after many years of research, trial, error, the building of a railway line to import coal from England, and building a factory, the Belleek pottery resulted, employing the local people and soon producing the finest china made with clay from the Belleek area. 

 

What had started as a way to fend off famine among the local tenants had became a story of incredible success by the 1880s as Queen Victoria fell in love with the fine white china and the many homely, slightly bizarre but nature-loving designs; this was different from English tradition, yet it was very much to the taste of the British who had developed a real love for home-made fine china since it was introduced in the late 18th Century. Soon the English nobility started to place big orders and the pottery is still flourishing today and selling its wares the world over, while in England most potteries have long disappeared.

 

The Neptune series is one of the most classic and popular designs Belleek has made and could be found in many Irish households. Many Belleek designs are inspired by nature rather than by fashion: there are sea shells, froth, kelp, tree roots and bark, corals and woven baskets. The Neptune series is entirely inspired by the sea. Each detail is true to the concept; the surface is wonderfully fluted like the waves of the sea, and the little feet of each item, as well as the finial of the teapot are shaped like shells. The handles are made like coral. The belly of the teapot is shaped like the waves of the sea, with the froth of the surf coming around the shoulder of the pot. And of course the colour is like the beautiful green of the Irish Sea on a stormy day. This set takes you into the Irish Sea, and it never fails to inspire your imagination.

 

It is increasingly hard to come across any Belleek cabaret tray but this small tray is extremely rare! If desired, I can supply matching teacups, please ask.

 

CONDITION REPORT The set is in excellent antique condition and suitable for use. The teapot has a tiny chip off the underside of the spout, and there is a faint firing line in the mouth of the milk jug (see pictures); neither of these shortcomings are obvious and they do not affect the usability of the set. Other than this, the set is in perfect condition.

 

Antique porcelain is never perfect. Kilns were fired on coal in the 1800s and early 1900s, and this meant that china from that period can have some firing specks from flying particles. Makers were also known for their experimentation, and sometimes this resulted in technically imperfect results. Due to the shrinkage in the kiln, items can have small firing lines or develop crazing over time, which should not be seen as damage but as an imperfection of the maker's recipes, probably unknown at the time of making. Items have often been used for many years and can have normal signs of wear, and gilt can have signs of slight disintegration even if never handled. I will reflect any damage, repairs, obvious stress marks, crazing or heavy wear in the item description but some minor scratches, nicks, stains and gilt disintegration can be normal for vintage items and need to be taken into account.

 

There is widespread confusion on the internet about the difference between chips and nicks, or hairlines and cracks. I will reflect any damage as truthfully as I can, i.e. a nick is a tiny bit of damage smaller than 1mm and a chip is something you can easily see with the eye; a glazing line is a break in the glazing only; hairline is extremely tight and/or superficial and not picked up by the finger; and a crack is obvious both to the eye and the finger. Etcetera - I try to be as accurate as I can and please feel free to ask questions or request more detailed pictures!

 

DIMENSIONS  The pot stands 12cm (4.75") high to the top of the finial, measures 22cm (8.75") from handle to spout; bowl 10cm (4") diameter; milk jug 11cm (4.25") from handle to mouth; tray 25.5cm X 19.5cm (10" X 7.6").

 

SHIPPING I ship worldwide from the UK, mostly by Royal Mail 2nd Class for the UK and International Tracked and Signed for the rest of the world. I am happy to combine shipping charges on multiple items - please contact me to discuss. In principle I do not make a profit on shipping although for simplicity's sake I charge flat shipping fees. If the fee charged greatly exceeds the actual cost I will gladly refund you the difference - at the same time if it is slightly lower I will gladly make up the difference. In some countries shipping will end up significantly more than the expected fees and I will contact you to discuss our options. PLEASE CONTACT ME FOR ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING SHIPPING COSTS AND OPTIONS.

Belleek cabaret teapot set, green Neptune, 2nd BM 1891-1926

SKU: A-BEL04xx
£0Price
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Covid-19 - we are open for business! 

We can ship normally to most destinations, but some are currently closed.

For the time being we have had to raise shipping prices as shippers are now charging more.

As we are living under lock down and can't always reach our stock, lead times will be a little longer than usual.

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