Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Belleek Newslettre (# 16.1)


I JUST received the following from Liz Stillwell’s
caring daughter Lauresa :

“I realize it has been a while since we have seen
each other and most of you are probably unaware
that Momma's condition had deteriorated quite
rapidly in the past year. It is with a heavy heart
that I must now tell you that she is gone.
Thankfully her passing was quick and she was at
home with me.  While her mind was still clear, her
body finally succumbed to the dementia. She died
on May 23rd and per her wishes was cremated so
that she could be buried with Daddy. To allow for
family travel and such, we had postponed her
memorial service until the end of this month. Here
are the details for those of you who would like to
join in celebrating her life.

“Date: June 23, 2012

“Location: Rose Hills Mortuary
            3888 Workman Mill Road
            Whittier, CA 90601
            (562) 699-0921

“Time: Memorial Service at Sky Rose Chapel
         (Gate 1) at 1:00 pm

        “Internment directly following at gravesite
        “Reception/Wake at Rose Hills Reception
         Center 1 (Gate 1) at approx. 3:00 pm

“I am putting together a photo montage so if you
have any particularly good shots of Momma please
scan them and send them to my e-mail –
Other than that I think we have everything under

“If you are so inclined to send flowers, please
instead make a donation to one of the following
charities so that your generosity can help others:

“Cure Alzheimer’s Fund

“Susan G. Komen for the Cure

“City of Hope”

Editor’s Note : I first met Liz at a variety of
Antique Fairs and remember numerous long
distance telephone calls with her. My fondest
memory was Liz’s comment, to me, that her
ultimate accomplishment regarding Belleek was to
possess, in her collection, one example of every
item that Belleek ever produced. That’s REALLY a
VERY TALL expectation, considering we Belleekers
seem to discouver at least one newly ‘unknown’
Pottery item each year. To one of the finest
Belleekers I’ve ever been associated with, R.I.P.

    and PRESENT !!

I KNOW that I’ve been TOTALLY procrastinating
in my efforts of producing any Newslettre of
substance, BUT I’ve been somewhat busy !!
Let’s get REAL !!  I’m RETIRED !!  EVERY day is
JUST ANOTHER vacation !!

In any case, I would first like to extend my
congratulations to the SPLENDID Convention
produced by our wonderful Windy City (Chicago)
Chapter !!  KUDO’s to their entire Chapter and
MANY THANKS for support provided by our
‘prior’ Convention organization, our own ‘Jersey
Girl’s !!

For those of you whom have been previously
engaged in arranging a Convention, you all know
the rigors involved in the proper coordination,
organization and timing of these events !!

It’s NOT been announced as yet, BUT a little birdy
is whispering thru the winds that our next
Convention, slatted for 2013, JUST might be in
SIN CITY itself, i.e., the infamous Las Vegas !!

IF there is sufficient interest in this fabulous
location please get back to me and I will Forward
your comments on to our Convention Committee for
their perusal !!  IF you have thoughts of other
possible alternatives, PLEASE provide those as
well !! ALSO, if you have suggestions for ANY
Convention Activities, etc., ALL ideas are GREATLY
appreciated !!


Q : What has four legs, is big, green, fuzzy, and
     if it fell out of a tree would kill you ??

A : A pool table !!

Q : What is black, dangerous and lives in a tree ??

A : A crow with a machine gun !! 

** SOUP’S ON !!

Two missionaries were apprehended by a tribe of
very hostile cannibals who put them in a large pot
of water, built a huge fire under it, and left them

A few minutes later, one of the missionaries
started to laugh uncontrollably.

The other missionary couldn't believe it! He said,
"What's wrong with you? We're being boiled alive!
They're gonna eat us! What could possibly be
funny at a time like this?"

The other missionary replied, "I just peed in the


I’ve been pondering this subject for some time now,
since I won an Ebay Auction for another Miniature
Armorial Diamond Vase !!  We’re all quite aware of
the Pottery’s basic variations, especially their use
of plain cob or undecorated ware along with their
beautifully tinted tea ware !!  Then, of course, we
have their bisque statuary as well as variations of
decoration ranging from coloured robes to fully
painted lifelike bodily forms !!

I will not discuss these here, as these offerings
were basic to Belleek’s line of wares and fully
documented and priced in their various catalogues !!
What I DO wish to discuss here are those
anomalies the Pottery produced either intentionally
or completely by accident !!

Back to my main premise, that of subtle or possibly
even pronounced differences !! So, we return to the
Diamond Vases I mentioned earlier !! When I first
noticed this particular Ebay Auction, something
stood out in my mind, but I was unable to grasp it
until I had reviewed my other three Diamond Vases !!
Upon close scrutiny, I would discouver that the
Crest or Armorial of this Auction item was in fact
displayed on the ‘wrong’ side of this vase !!  The
decal was actually placed on, what I refer to as,
the short or narrow side of the associated diamond
as opposed to the long or wider side !! Please refer
to my following picture !!

Miniature Armorial Diamond Vases !! 
                Above can be seen my pair of
            Miniature Crested Armorial Diamond Vases !!
      As you will notice, the LEFT Vase appears to have its
        Armorial applied and painted to its narrow side !!

Another 'minor' difference, is that of the Armoral
decal, i.e., the applied 'stencil' that is utilized by
the painters similar to a paint-by-number mask !! 
Although, both vases display the 'Robinson &
Cleaver, Belfast' Mark, on their bases, only the
decal of the right side vase also includes the
Belfast city name !!

The above example, we can probably attribute to
possibly an extra pint of Guinness Beer or two !!
But, the following spectacular example is not only
proof of an artist’s capabilities, but also that of
their imagination !!

I am speaking here of the Pottery’s magnificent
Bird’s Nest Vase, in constant production,
throughout all their production periods, since
their inception !!

As you can see in my 1st. Period example below,
the male bird rests on the limbs above their nest,
with his mate keeping their eggs warm within their
nest below !! This is the ‘standard’ form of this
splendid vase, with minor variations in decoration,
including specific flowering and painting schemes !!

1st. Period Bird's Nest Vase !!

                    1st. Period Bird’s Nest Vase !!

My particular vase has somewhat of an interesting
history !! I purchased it from the UK and the chap
shipped it IN A SHOE BOX !! YES, an actual shoe
box, where the fairly large base of this item
created extreme bulging of the boxes sides !!
It was wrapped ONLY in a couple of sheets of
newspaper and the box secured with some twine !!
As it was presented at my doorstep by my post
person, my heart sank and I listened intently for
hundreds of small pieces chiming in broken unison !!
EVERYONE should get lucky ONCE !!  I DID !!

After its receipt and subsequent blessing, we
decided to utilize it at a friend’s wedding reception !!
Being a spring affair, we placed some finely selected
daffodils into each neck of the vase and carefully
added a bit of water to provide nourishment for
their continued beauty !!  To our amazement, we
discouvered that these blossoms absorbed our
water rather quickly, so we provided additional
sustenance !!  We continued this for like an hour
until we were finally presented with a table cloth
disguised as a small water fall !! Upon EXTREMELY
close observation, I finally discouvered a VERY
MINUTE ‘blow hole’, actually a blow OUT,
 of the large hollow tree branch vases attached
itself to the base and camouflaged itself secretly
behind a convolvulus flower !!

Moving on to my 2nd. Period example of this fine
item !!  As you notice, its basic vase form is
identical to that of my 1st. Period example with
the father bird perched on the branches above
their nest !!  Now, though, our major differences
become apparent !!

2nd. Period Bird's Nest Vase !!

                    2nd. Period Bird’s Nest Vase !!

At first we notice that the female bird is no
longer nesting on her eggs but is instead sitting
on the edge of her nest !!  NOW, the fascination
of the ACTUAL three eggs laid in their nest
becomes apparent !!  I’m somewhat surprised the
Pottery did not add a sprinkle of glaze and colour
to these eggs to accentuate their existence ??

Unfortunately, I was unable to obtain a super
close-up of their actual nest, but if you look
CLOSELY, you will discouver actual bits of twig
slip applied around its form to simulate actual
sprigs of branches utilized in its construction !! 
Hint : Look in front of the eggs !!

Other than this beautifully obvious variation, this
Bird’s Nest Vase hasn’t any interesting history to
compare with my other example !!

Junco's ACTUAL Nest !! 

                 An actual Oregon Junco’s nest
                        on the floor of my Atrium !!
                     (Junco’s are NOT real bright !!)

I discouvered the above Junco’s (variety of small
finch) nest behind a small poppy plant one morning
while I was weeding my Atrium garden !! These
little finch like birds nest ON THE GROUND and
unfortunately, are thus VERY susceptible to our
tree rats, which, seemingly have chosen to live as
our birds SHOULD ??  Unfortunately, my camera
equipment was INTENT on focusing on the poppy’s
leaves ??

If any of you Belleekers out there have what you
believe an interesting variation of a Pottery’s item,
PLEASE snap off several pictures and Forward
them on to me and I’ll post them for our other
Belleekers enjoyment !!


As some VERY FINE friends of mine, donated
their ‘old’ photographic equipment to my ‘cause’,
I’ve been capable of producing, what I would
refer to as, EXCESSIVE quality pictures !!

In any event, I’ve been lugging around an
interesting ‘hollowed’ out clock casing for like the
past couple dozen or so years and am now ready
to re-work this splendid casing with one of my
Belleek Lithopanes !!

Therefore, in my following series of Newslettres,
I am hoping to provide several installments of my
labours in the task of cleaning up the clock case,
refinishing it, electrifying it and finally mounting
a selected Lithophane into its face !! I HOPE you
will all enjoy this series ??


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   (Télè first !!)
E-mail :     delyicious@comcast.net
Web-site :   The Beauty and Romance of Irish Belleek  
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