This is a rare and very charming Belleek lidded honey pot in the famous Shamrock design. It carries the 2nd Black Mark, which was used between 1891 and 1926.

 

It is rare to come across one of these from the original period it was brought out - they were made again later in the 20th Century but not in the same wonderful porcelain quality from this period, so this is a rare opportunity.

 

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 that were plaguing the Emerald Island at that time. 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 Shamrock series is one of the most classic and popular designs Belleek has made. It could be found in many Irish households and is still made and widely popular today - although these antique items have an unrivalled delicacy that you won't see in contemporary items. Many Belleek designs are inspired by nature rather than by fashion: there are sea shells, froth, kelp, tree roots and bark, corals and weaved baskets. The Shamrock series is shaped in the shape of finely woven wicker baskets and has sweet sprigs of shamrock draped across the surface. This honey pot is shaped like an old fashioned bee hive, each detail is true to the concept; the surface is wonderfully woven, and even the finial of the honey pot is made like a twig of wood, bound together with a straw ribbon. The shamrock leaves are finely moulded and painted in two shades of green, wonderfully portraying the uniquely green colour of the Irish landscape, and there is a pretend-entry of the bee hive with bees coming and going. The feet of the pot are modelled like tree trunks and the shelf the bee hive is placed on looks like a roughly cut plank.

 

CONDITION REPORT The pot and lid are in excellent antique condition with no wear, crazing or repairs. The only fault is a surface chip off the rim of the lid, visible in the last picture. This does not stand out much particularly because it is at the back of the lid. There are some typical firing spots here and there, which you can see in the pictures and are normal for items of this period.

 

Please note that all items in my shop are of vintage or antique condition. They have often been used for many years and can have normal signs of wear. I will reflect any damage, repairs or heavy wear in the item description but some minor scratches, nicks and stains 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 see with the eye; a hairline runs over the surface glazing but not the body of the item and a crack runs through the body of the item, usually weakening its structure. Etcetera - I try to be as accurate as I can and please feel free to ask questions or request more detailed pictures!

 

DIMENSIONS 15cm (6") tall.

 

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 lidded honey pot, Shamrock, 2nd BM 1891-1926

SKU: A-BEL34
£425Price
  • Your item will be shipped after receipt of funds, unless agreed otherwise in writing. 

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    We always aim to have happy customers so if you have an issue with or questions about your item, please contact us and we will do anything we can to resolve the issue with you! 

© 2019 by Gentle Rattle of China - copyright on all images and text

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