Sunday, March 8, 2009
Belleek Newslettre (# 13.1)
2009 CONVENTION !!
LATEST NEWS !!
PLEASE share the following with ALL your Belleeker
WELL, I’ve (HOPEFULLY) FINALIZED my
arrangements to and from our Convention !! Depending
your ‘touch-down’ point near
Park Ridge, AND, you’re quite
adventurous, you may want to
consult with Google Maps at :
to arrange inexpensive transport into Park Ridge !! I’ve
verified routes to and from Kennedy, La Guardia and Newark
(International) Airports as well
as the Amtrak Stations at
Penn Street, NY and 30th. Street,
Philadelphia !! Of course,
you can always be a sissy and catch a
Personally, I’ll be arriving rather late the
evening of the
22nd. following an enjoyable Amtrak jaunt across the
People are welcomed to email our Convention organizer at :
or call 631-665-4680 or write to
38 Woodland Drive
Brightwaters, NY 11718
about any of these following items or other
The North Jersey Convention Committee is
getting down to
the final tasks for the convention. Music and
have been booked, the program planning is underway; we
looking forward to a great convention with long time and
We are urging people to make their hotel reservations
that the hotel continues to hold the block of rooms for
us and all
attendees can be in the same location as the
Of course, Angela and George Moore, Society President
Owner, respectively, will be in attendance
as well as Patricia
McCauley, Manager of the Visitor’s
Centre at the Pottery !!
One of the key offerings of our Convention will be a
Fergus Cleary, Belleek’s Head of Design.
The North Jersey
Plate Design Committee labored to develop
a lovely rendering which
includes special aspects of New
Jersey. Fergus Cleary and his staff are
hard at work on
the plate; it looks beautiful. Fergus has been taking
photos of each step of the process which he will use for
a power point
presentation at the convention. He will
show how items go from design,
molding and all other
stages to end up with the collector. Should be
interesting since each attendee will have the finished
Other important presentations include Bev and Chris
Marvell from the UK
group will be presenting on "The
Early Days of Belleek Pottery." They
will share the work
of many members of the UK group on how the
at the Pottery and its ware fitted in with the political
and social events of the times. Should be very
that will be new to most of us.
Additionally, the Trenton Museum Director, Brian O. Hill,
will speak on
the fine tradition of pottery making in
Trenton and the Irish craftsmen
who were part of that
In addition to speakers on Belleek,
the program committee
is pleased that a member of the International
Appraisers will be one of the speakers. Linda Roberts, ISA,
AM, has a strong interest in European and American hand
porcelains and has qualified as an "Appraiser As
Expert Witness". She
is open to topics or specifics people
would like her to address in her
There will also be a speaker on insuring collections,
Michele Empey who
is a Fine Arts Specialists at Chubb
Insurance. I think people will find
this to be an important
and interesting topic.
John Maguire, Managing Director of the Belleek Pottery
George Davis, the US Belleek Distributor for
Reed and Barton, are
expected to be available to join us
for at least part of our Convention
The NJ Chapter has been photographing members' unique
Belleek for a
calendar to be sold at the convention. The
convention bag committee has
neat treats for all the
attendees. The US Belleek distributor Reed and
providing a piece of Belleek for each attendee. Sales
George Davis has been wonderful to work with and
the donation is very
IMPORTANT : The Convention organizers are compiling a
of Belleek items for which attendees have been
searching. There are
always pieces we want !! People are
invited to let me know if there are
some things they would
especially like to see in the sales room.
Hopefully such a
listing will give the vendors an opportunity to bring
items. I will not share names, only the items. Individuals
chapters are invited to send me their "wish lists".
We have a strong antique Belleek showing with the Kathleen
Mitchell from California, Tony Harty and Eileen
O'Neill plus Olga
Clarke coming from Ireland as well as
Nanci Levine from Connecticut. We
may have another table
or two of local people.
There will also be a
restorer at the convention, as part
of the sales room, available to
look at Belleek pieces and
give estimates on possible restorations.
Louis" comes highly recommended for his Belleek work.
also works in early stoneware, pottery,
ivory and jade as well as gold work
on fine porcelain.
His work is not limited to fine antiques; it also
contemporary collectibles such as Lladro, Boehm and Royal
Doulton. People are invited to bring items in need of
his inspection. Patricia has viewed his
work and regards it as
We still have room in the program book for a few more ads
if anyone is
interested. The ad application with size and
cost information can be
found in the Convention Information
at Site :
We plan to begin to work on the book right after Jan. 1,
2009 and need
ads by then.
The two New York City tours have been well received and
there are still a few spots available in each. The shopping
Point tours were canceled due to general lack of
AGAIN, people are
welcomed to email me at :
631-665-4680 or write to Patricia Hennessey,
38 Woodland Drive,
Brightwaters, NY 11718 about any of
these items or other convention
AND, AGAIN, PLEASE share the above with ALL your Belleeker
friends and acquaintances !!
1st Period Opinion ??
"A man said to the Universe, 'Sir, I exist.' The Universe
'That fact, however, has not created in me a
sense of obligation.'"
Stephen Crane, c1871-1900
MORE CRESTED MINIATURES !!
Along the North coastline of Northern Ireland, all within
like an hours
drive of each other, we discouver some of
this areas finest sights and
I will only present a very short synopsis of each and
leave it to you,
as the reader, for further Google’ing
to enhance your
knowledge as you desire !!
From the Encyclopedia Wikipedia we discouver
Suggesting a scenic drive along the North Channel, out
of Belfast, we
pass thru Ballycastle and arrive at The
Giant's Causeway (or Irish :
area of about 40,000
interlocking basalt columns, the
result of an ancient volcanic
It is located on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland,
about two miles (3 km) north of the town of Bushmills. It
a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986, and
a National Nature Reserve
in 1987 by the Department of
the Environment for Northern Ireland. In a
2005 poll of
Radio Times readers, the Giant's Causeway was named as
fourth greatest natural wonder in the United Kingdom.
The tops of the
columns form stepping stones that lead
from the cliff foot and
disappear under the sea. Most
of the columns are hexagonal, although
there are also
some with four, five, seven and eight sides. The tallest
are about 12 metres (36 ft) high, and the solidified lava
in the cliffs
is 28 metres thick in places.
The Giant's Causeway is today owned and managed by the
and it is the most popular tourist
attraction in Northern Ireland. It
in Irish Folklore !!
South West of The Giant’s Causeway we can stop in Bushmills
(in Irish : Muileann na
Buaise) a very small town, actually
as a village, on the north coast of County
Antrim, Northern Ireland,
for a refreshing drink !! Bushmills
had 1,319 inhabitants in the 2001
Census and is 95 km from
Belfast, 10 km from Ballycastle and 15 km from
The town's name is derived from the River Bush, one of
Northern Ireland's salmon rivers.
The village is best known as the location of the Old
Distillery, founded in 1608, which is the
oldest licensed distillery in
the world. The distillery
is the only Irish distillery using 100%
malted barley in
its whiskies, in a range which includes Bushmills
Black Bush and a range of malts, including the Bushmills
year old malt. CHEERS !!
You may wish to refer to my Newslettre # 11.1 of March 4,
may be located in my Newslettre Archives on
my Main Site Page, for a
discussion of Belleek’s Bushmills
West of Bushmills, we enter Portrush (from the Irish :
Port Rois meaning
"port of the promontory") a seaside
resort town in County Antrim,
Northern Ireland, on the
County Londonderry border. The main part of
the old town,
including the railway station as well as most hotels,
restaurants and bars, is built on a mile–long peninsula,
Ramore Head, pointing north-northwest.
It had a population of 6,372
people in the 2001 Census.
In the off-season, Portrush is a dormitory
town for the
nearby campus of the University of Ulster at Coleraine.
It neighbours the resort of Portstewart.
NOTE : The University has four campuses, in Belfast,
College in Derry, and Jordanstown and
a fifth virtual, i.e., On-Line,
campus, Campus One.
Portrush was the base for the Katie
Hannan (this life
boat was damaged
in 2008, after running aground during
a rescue at Rathlin Island, now
based as a training boat
for the RNLI), a Severn class lifeboat and Ken
a D–class inshore lifeboat of the RNLI (Royal
Lifeboat Institute. Lifeboats have operated out of
Harbour since 1860.
Their crews have been
presented with 28 awards for gallantry !!
Again, travelling West, we arrive at Portstewart. The
relatively new and takes its name from a
Lieutenant Stewart who in 1734
obtained a lease of land
from the Earl of Antrim. As recently as the
century it was little more than a fishing village,
has been inhabited since the Neolithic era.
Portstewart developed to a
modest size seaside resort in
the mid 19th century under the influence
of a local
landlord, John Cromie. Its development and character was
influenced greatly by the sabbatarian sensitivities of
the Cromies and
the consequent resistance to a railway
connection in the mid 19th
The scale of development for the next century was more
than that of neighbouring Portrush which rapidly
in the late Victorian era) with
the mass tourism market. Despite a tram
provided from Portstewart to Cromore to link with the
railway, the town developed with a more genteel character.
ascent of the car as the predominant means of
travel through the 20th
century, Portstewart developed
a wider role as a popular holiday and
destination, along with a significant dormitory function
due to its proximity to Coleraine (University) as well
as being a local
From the 1950s until into the 1980s the town's main
was as a residential area, with the
steady construction of new
dwellings in the suburbs mainly
for owner occupation. Unlike Portrush
where there was a
rapid expansion of static caravan parks, Portstewart
continued to avoid the effects of mass tourism.
Over the past 15 years however, there is a widespread
the character of the town has changed
through the rapid growth of the
student population and
the accelerating expansion of second home
There is considerable local opinion that the permanent
community is at risk from being overwhelmed by this tide
residents, who have only a limited role in
the commercial and social
life of the community. Remember,
if you can’t blame the
students, blame the tourists !!
The first picture below, displays a Cleary Mug exhibiting
the crest of
the Town of Portrush which, I’ve had on
display in my museum
for some time !!
Crest of Portrush on a Cleary Mug !!
The second picture is of a pair of mugs which, I recently
As viewed below, the left mug, another Cleary
Mug, shows the crest of
the City of Dublin !!
The mug on the right, I have NO name for ?? I
Coral Handle Ivory, as opposed to Ring
Handle Ivory, due
to its completely smooth surface !!?? This cute
mug proudly displays the crest of the Town of Portstewart
BY FAR, the smallest Belleek mug I’ve ever
envisioned !! In
fact, it barely holds, by volume, like
half what the Miniature Cleary
Mugs do !!
City of Dublin on a Cleary Mug and
Crest of Portstewart on a
‘Coral Handle Ivory’ Mug
I know that we didn’t venture thru Dublin this afternoon,
I have an excellent reason for displaying its Crest
LOOK VERY CLOSE !!
HINT : At BOTH the Miniature Cleary Mugs !!
Upon CLOSE examination, one will ascertain that the
City of Dublin
Crest is positioned ‘OVER’ the underlying
(forget-me-nots ??) on the surface of the mug,
where-as, the Town of
Portrush Crest is placed on a
surface which, has been
‘smoothed’ off, distinctly for
the purpose of the
placement of a crest !!
I would have to suspect that this ‘improvement’,
utilizing a flat surface, was a later design improvement
Pottery’s mold, to not only simplify the
application of the
background decal, but also to
facilitate the ease of colouring these
Just another of those Belleek mysteries !! The more
Belleek you see,
the more questions arise !!
Happy Belleeking and I hope to see and visit with
many of you at our
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Del E. Domke, Belleek Consultant
16142 N.E. 15th. Street
Telephone : 1 (425) 746-6363
Message : 1 (425)
1 (425) 746-6363
Web-site : The
Beauty and Romance of Irish Belleek