Monday, May 24, 2010

Belleek Newslettre (# 14.1)


REMEMBER, 2010 brings to our Society a ‘rejuvenation’
concept, where, as of January 1, 2010, NO MEMBERSHIP
DUES will be accessed in the future !! This is a
positive attempt to attract new members, whom are
visiting our BCIS Site but not joining our fine
Society !!

Although, there will no longer be ‘a yearly
membership renewal item’, there will STILL be
Limited Edition items, available ONLY to Society
members !! This will be in addition to special
offers to members ONLY !!

SO, be sure to visit your Pottery’s Official Site at :


to view all their new wares and read your B.C.I.S.
Newsletters !!


There’s a SPLENDID 14 day Summer Irish Tour being planned
for the dates of 11-Sept thru 24-Sept, 2010 !! If you’ve
never pranced around Ireland, this is your chance !! All
the tour information, complete itinerary and registration
information may be viewed at :

      2010 Summer Irish Tour

The above Link REQUIRES Adobe .PDF File Reader Software !!
IF you DO NOT have Adobe facilities resident on your
Computer, Click on the Link below to Download and Install
an appropriate Version :


This promises to be a wonderful event, but space is limited,
so if you would enjoy an end of summer vacation, this is
one not to be missed !!


An interesting little, about 200 items, collection of
Belleek is currently for sale !! Many of the items are
‘new’, BUT REMEMBER, that the 6th Period begins in 1965
and ended in 1980 !! Even these items are THIRTY to FORTY
FIVE years old now !! All items may be viewed at the
following Site :


With some important holidays nearing, this would be an
appropriate time to introduce another generation to the
marvels of our truly romantic Irish Belleek !! Or
consider purchasing yourself another indulgence !!


    15th thru 18th SEPTEMBER, 2011

Chicago lost the Olympic bid but we gained the next
BCIS convention! Please join us for a fun filled
convention where we talk about, shop for, auction off ,
and share information regarding our favorite obsession,
BELLEEK! The Windy City Chapter is very excited to host
the  next convention and is very busy with the plans.

Look for updated information regarding the
convention registration and hotel information, in
my upcoming Newslettres !!

I’ve received no additional  information, BUT you’ll
all be the first to know of any developments !!


I was trying on some coats to see if they would fit me.
I love to do that every now and again because of what you
find in the pockets. Items like Kleenex, ticket stubs,
receipts, keys and best of all... MONEY!!!

But needless to say I was fired from my coat check job !!


.. .. NONE is genuine ?? Or is it ??

In any case, I’ve become VERY concerned with some of the
items that have appeared on E-Bay in the past several months !!  
It seems that some person(s) are offering ‘Belleek’ items
which, are at BEST VERY questionable !!

I’ve been in contact with MULTIPLE members of the U.K.
Group and others around the world and we are ALL in
agreement that MANY of the items offered are not only
QUESTIONABLE as valid Belleek manufacture, BUT actually
possess ‘fake’ or counterfeit markings !!

Basically, a ‘true’ 1st period mark should have THREE (3)
windows on the Devenish Tower, an Irish Wolfhound, sitting
firmly on the ground AND NOT with his rump ‘across’ ANY
portion of the harps ‘pillar’ !!

Lastly, the Harp should have a STRAIGHT back or sounding
board (rightmost part of it), the pillar (opposite the
back), should curve slightly and gracefully into the neck,
which, is DEFINITELY curved upwards to its attachment to
the back !!

And lastly, the 1st period mark should have 3 shamrocks to
the left of the [BELLEEK] banner and either 3 or 4 to its
right !!

On larger marks, you may actually be able to see ‘pegs’
for the strings on the back as well ‘bricks’ on the tower
and some hair on the hound !!

1st. Period Mark & Registry Mark !! 

                      A Splendid 1st. Period Mark
                  including a (transfer) Registry Mark
                    from my Gladstone Chamber Pot !!

Here’s another splendid example from taken from the base
of one of my Belfast Miniature Armorial Tygs !! Since 1st.
Period Miniature Armorials are considered like NON-existent,
you will note, IF you look closely at the picture below,
you will see the ‘remnants’ of a 2nd Period Mark’s Ribbon
‘UNDER’ the 1st !!?? Apparently, the 2nd was possibly too
large for a proper transfer so someone just grabbed up
whatever was available and in this case it was a 1st period
mark !!

Belfast Tyg 1st Period !! 

                     See ‘remnants’ to the right of the
                    Harp’s Sounding Board and then again
                      just below the ‘BE’ in Belleek !!

IF you’re fortunate enough to possess a sample of Belleek’s
impressed [Belleek Co Fermanagh] Mark, remember, that ALL
the letters should be equally spaced and on an ‘even’ line,
between the pair of dies [BELLEEK] and [Co. FERMANAGH] !!
Although, BOTH dies are usually impressed on a single line,
since these are independent dies, they rarely appear on
separate lines, i.e., [BELLEEK] is one impression above the
2nd die [Co. FERMANAGH] on a line underneath it !!

It should be noted here, that I've ONLY discussed Belleek's
1st. Period mark !!  Since this mark obviously enhances an
items value, it is the one more probably conterfitted !!  
Let's face it, WHY would anyone attempt to 'fake' a green
period mark when black marks are much more sought after ??  
In ALL cases, you should be quite familiar with Belleek's
PROPER marks, in each period, their variations, size,
colours, Parian 'feel', etc., to provide you with the
ammunition in making an informed decision prior to any
purchase !!

From friends of mine, down under, I received the following,
which, is relevant to most ANY collectible !!

“Buyer Beware

“When buying something always know your product. Just
recently an overseas seller offered for sale several items
proclaiming them to be extremely rare first and second
black mark Belleek pieces. When an item is listed as very
rare, one off, proceed with caution. This is not to say
that the piece can't be genuine. Take a really good look
at it. Does it look right? Is the colour of the glaze right?
Does it feel right? What do you know about the piece. Have
you ever seen an example in books on Belleek?

“What we do know is Potteries did not make one off pieces.
The process is a long one. First the modeler makes a
sculpture of the piece in clay. This can take weeks or
even months to make. Then a mould (Plaster cast) is made
over this original sculpture. Then a second mould is taken
off the first mould. It is the second mould that is used
in the production of the piece. Then a piece is poured.
It is fired.

“Many things can go wrong, it can go misshaped in the
firing, crack, or the details are not clear. These things
must be fixed or the mould is discarded. Discarding is a
last resort. To get a piece to this stage a lot of time,
effort and expense has gone into the process.

“You must also remember we are talking 1857 to 1926, the
workers didn't work 9 to 5, five days a week in the
conditions of today. They worked long hours, in cold
draughty buildings with poor lighting. Not the conditions
to work extra hours on a project of your own.

“Next look at the mark. First black marks are not always
black. It appears it took the Belleek Pottery a while
before they made up their minds as to which colour of ink
to use. Genuine first black mark pieces can be found to
be blue, brunt orange, forest green, brown and black. But
always check to make sure there is not trade mark
registration OR to the right of the tower. Trade marking
started in 1955 for Belleek.”

Editor’s Note : The term ‘trade mark registration’ is in
reference to the ® which, begin appearing to the right of
the Devenish Tower (roof) and above the right end of the
[Co. Fermanagh Ireland] banner !!

“Earlier I mentioned looking at the colour when
authenticating a piece. Belleek has a very creamy lustre
which none of the other potteries were able to duplicate.
The pieces in question had a yellow cast to them not the
creamy lustre of Belleek. Another was a well know shape
(from a competing Pottery). So once again know what you
are buying taking a gamble may not always bring rewards.”

Remember, Belleek has always exclaimed “Without which
none is Genuine”, i.e., in reference to a (proper)
Pottery Mark !!


Spanish singer Julio Iglesias was on television with
British TV host Anne Diamond when he used the Spanish
word "manana" (manyana). Diamond asked him to explain
what it meant. He said that the term means, "Maybe the
job will be done tomorrow, maybe the next day, maybe
the day after that. Perhaps next week, next month, next
year who cares?"

The host turned to Irishman Shay Brennan who was also on
the show and asked him if there was an equivalent term in
Irish. "No. In Ireland we don't have a word to describe
that degree of urgency."


Confusion appears to exist as to the difference between
a Loving Cup and a Tyg ??  Referencing several items of
Belleek literature, I’ve discouvered Tygs actually being
labeled as Loving Cups !!

Answers.com describes a Loving Cup as :

“The noun has 2 meanings :

“Meaning #1 : a large drinking vessel (usually with two
handles) that people drink out of in turn at a banquet

“Meaning #2 : a large metal vessel with two handles that
is awarded as a trophy to the winner of a competition”

From our Wikipedia, we discouver an extended definition :

“A Grace Cup (or Loving Cup) is a silver bowl or tankard
with two handles that was traditionally passed round the
table after grace at all banquets in London. According to
Brewer's Phrase and Fable, the Grace Cup is still seen at
the Lord Mayor's feasts, at college, and occasionally in
private banquets. Oxford's Oriel College possess’ Sanford
and Heywood grace cups, dated 1654-55 and 1669-70 in its
Buttery Plate collection. Nearby Balliol College also
makes reference to the use of a Grace Cup which was
discontinued in the early 20th century.

“'Grace' cups were passed round when a traditional grace
(a prayer of thanksgiving) was said to give thanks for
the food eaten. Robert Burton, in his Anatomy of Melancholy
(1621) described their use as 'a corollary to conclude the
feast and continue their mirth, a grace cup came in to
cheer their hearts and they drank healths to one another
again and again'. A good example is The Howard 'Grace' Cup.


“The proper way of drinking the cup observed at the
Lord Mayor's banquet or City companies' is to have a
silver bowl with two handles and a napkin. Two persons
stand up, one to drink and the other to defend the
drinker.  Having taken his draught, he wipes the cup
with the napkin, and passes it to his "defender," when
the next person rises to defend the new drinker. And
so on to the end.”

As to a Tyg, from Answers.com and (our) Wikipedia, we
discouver their definition as :

“A Tyg is a large English pottery mug with three or more
handles dividing the rim into sections for several drinkers.
These tall, black-glazed, red-bodied drinking vessels were
produced from the 15th century through the first half of
the 17th century, peaking in popularity during the 16th
and 17th centuries.  Some were made with as many as nine

“The multiple handles also allow hot drinks to be passed
around without pain.

“Tygs were made in large quantities at Wrotham in Kent and
in many Staffordshire factories. Examples have surfaced at
17th-century American colonial sites, as well as in the UK.

“There is a whole other life to Tygs. The miniatures, many
of the leading names in Staffordshire and Worcester area
have manufactured three handled Tygs that stand proud at
only 1 to 1 7/10 inches in size.

“There are also examples of Japanese and German Tygs.

“Many people ask what are they for? The most likely answer
for the small ones is for decoration, as many of them are
exquisitely painted and are widely collected.”

Editor’s Note : HURRAH for Belleek and their production
of Armorial Miniature Tygs !!

Although, one can stumble upon definitions of loving cups
possessing more than a pair of handles, I find it quite
amusing if not curious, to say the least, to contemplate
‘three handled love’ !!??

Also, I can’t imagine a couple of Knights, sitting in a
pub, following a deadly jousting competition, actually
sharing a two handled drink ??!! I could possibly envision
a band of knightly compatriots sharing a nine handled
vessel of their favourite beverage following a fierce
battle !!

OR, their wives playing a fast game of Whist and sharing
a four handled Tyg of lemonade, while anxiously awaiting
their tattered brave’s arrival home from their pillage
and plunder !! 

O.K., so enough already with our history lesson !!
What’s my point ??

MANY years ago, I was fortunate enough to purchase a
Miniature Armorial Tyg via E-Bay from a splendid little
antique shop down under !!  Upon receipt of my newly
acquired treasure, I communicated with the shops proprietor
via a nicely worded E-mail expressing my sincere thanks and
asking her politely to be on the ‘look-out’ for additional
interesting items of Belleek !!

Wonderful Miniature Kilkenny Tyg !! 

                        My LOVELY little Tyg
                     pictured here along with a
                      (SINGLE) Specimen Vase !!

Several years, at least, elapsed when, I received a
telephone call one morning from the shops owner !!  She
explained to me that a Belleek Bust of Charles Dickens
was going on the auction block in several days and was
inquiring as to whether I would be interested ??  My
connection or ‘tie’ to this antique fancier had paid off !!


The ONLY problem, as she expressed her concerns, was that
if she were to purchase Mr. Dickens, he might become a
semi-perminent resident of her shop for numerous years,
which, she verbalized was an inappropriate use of her
limited funds !!  So, what to do ??

In a fairly brief discussion, we both agreed as to a
‘maximum’ bid she was authorized to place for me !! IF
Charles were to be hammered down at auction end and I
(she) were the successful bidder, ANY difference between
her auction bid and my maximum would be retained by her
as simple profit !! NO questions asked and I would NOT
quiz her as to the true results of the auction !!

Another short conversation, several days later, and I was
informed that I was now the proud owner of an amazing
Belleek Bust of Charles Dickens !! The ONLY remaining
procedure was to procure proper accommodations for his
perilous journey across a shark infested sea to my port !!
A month or so later, Charles was knocking at my doorstep !!

Amazingly, I was eventually provided provenance, from his
original owners, that this particular bust was purchased
by a Fútbol (Soccer) Club partner of Dickens himself !!

A Handsome Charles Dickens !! 

                A Handsome Charles Dickens !!

This just demonstrates, that by occasionally interfacing
with your contacts or your TIES you may be surprised with
an unexpected offer !! You might consider dropping into
their shop as you travel about, query them as to any fairs
or shows they may be participating in or just drop them a
call for a brief chat !! They’re VERY important !!

Editor’s Note : Actually, you can collect ties OR tygs !!
They’re BOTH equally important !!


For those of you I've 'lost contact' with, if you
WERE receiving my Newslettre and have NOT
received one in a bit, it's MOST probably due to a
Change in YOUR E-mail ID !! Post me, i.e., E-mail,
your current ID and I'll get you back on my list !!

If you read my Newslettres regularly and DID NOT
receive an E-mail notification of this Newslettre,
PLEASE just drop me an E-mail and I’ll be sure to
get you BACK onto my Circulation list !! THANKS !!

Of course, if you’re NOT currently on my List and
would LIKE to be in on my Mailing List, ALL you need
do is to drop me a SHORT note indicating 'that you
would like automatic notification of new Newslettres' !!
And, BINGO, I'll ADD you to my list and you'll begin
receiving upcoming Newslettre notifications !!

Del E. Domke, Belleek Consultant
16142 N.E. 15th. Street

Bellevue,  WA    98008-2711

Telephone :  1 (425) 746-6363

Message :    1 (425) 746-6363
FAX :        1 (425) 746-6363  (Tele first !!)
E-mail :     delyicious@comcast.net
Web-site :   The Beauty and Romance of Irish Belleek  
(or) :