Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Belleek Newslettre (# 18.1)


I would like to begin with wishing ALL you Belleekers
out there, my MOST sincere wishes for a SPLENDID
Holiday Season and Peaceful and Prosperous New Year !!

Calvin & Hobbes Christmas !!
            Calvin & Hobbes Re-Create the Legend of

I actually could NOT believe that I've NOT published
ANYTHING in this past Year, but with, actually, an
excuse, of my Computer CRASHING on my past
Birthday, I feel 'somewhat' justified ??  I will
attempt to keep this brief !!

2014 Holiday Message !!
(VERY) loose paraphrasing from a letter written,
  (c)February 12, 1950, to Mr. Robert S. Marcus
  upon the passing of his son from Polio.
  Normally includes the phrase 'from this prison',
  following the words 'free ourselves' !!


If ANY of you Belleekers out there can identify the
successful bidder of Lot # 1282093, as shown below,
from Susanin’s Auctions, Chicago, Illinois, USA, held
7-Dec-13 I would be MORE than interested in
communicating with you !!  As you are aware, you now
possess Lady Marion Langham’s Honouree Medallion !!
If you’ve not already considered returning it to the
Belleek Pottery for proper display in our Honouree’s
Gallery, I would be interested in negotiating with you
for said purpose !!  THANKS !!

Susanin's Auctions Lot # 1282093 !!
Catalogue Description :
Together with a Belleek porcelain oval shaped medal which reads
'Hall of Fame Honoree 1993 Lady Langham',
bears Belleek red mark on back as well.
Ornaments include a shamrock form
with applied colored porcelain flowers,
a cherub, and a stocking with painted shamrocks
Largest ornament length: 5"


The complete text and footnotes for the following,
may be found at the Belleek Pottery Site :


1872 Dublin Exhibition Opening Ceremony !!St. Patricks Cathedral !!

            Opening of the Dublin Exhibition June 6, 1872

His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh opened
the Dublin Exhibition of 1872 amid grand fanfair !!

Along with other Irish industries the fledgling
Belleek Pottery exhibited in the Leinster Hall and
sent a large selection of products including a number
of Parian figurines, table centres and comports.  In
the 1865 exhibition held in the same building, Belleek
had sent a number of apprentices to demonstrate
their craft and displayed "Table and toilet ware in
stone China, stone ware, mortars, and for chemical
purposes; parian china: figures, statuettes, and

Now seven years later Belleek would unveil an
impressive number of porcelain products and
demonstrate to all that Belleek had arrived on
the world stage.  One of the most imposing pieces
on display was the Figure of Erin, an allegorical piece
also known as "Hibernia awakens from her slumbers". 
The piece depicts a young maiden, "Erin or Hibernia"
unveiling a vase with the script on its base "Belleek
Pottery".  Thus Ireland was unveiling to the world
the work of Belleek Pottery.  It was designed and
sculpted by William Boyton Kirk.   

Old Pottery Photograph Album !!
  Hibernia Awakening from Her Slumbers
  from the Belleek Old Pottery Photograph Album
  Courtesy Fergus Cleary, Head of Design,
Belleek Pottery

In the Belleek Old Photograph Album, which was
compiled some time after 1881, the figure of Erin
is listed picture No 82 and described as "Hibernia
awakens from her Slumbers". It is offered in three
decorative forms Statuary, Pearl & Lustre and
Raphaelesque. The price increasing with each
decorative addition. Belleek did not register this
design, perhaps indicating that the design rights
belonged to William Boyton Kirk but another possible
explaination may be due to it being of definite Irish
interest, they felt it would not be copied by other
potteries.  In the Belleek "Old Mould Archive" the
Block Mould of the Figure of Erin is numbered "133"
and based on other evidence comparing mould numbers
with registery dates, it would indicate that the
master moulds for this piece were made sometime
after 1869.

From the Free Wikipedia English Encyclopedia :
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (April 6 or March 28,
1483 to April 6, 1520), better known simply as
Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of
the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its
clarity of form and ease of composition and for
its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of
human grandeur. Together with Michelangelo and
Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity
of great masters of that period.

Hibernia at the Well !!

          Figure of Erin with Raphaelesque decoration, 1st Mark !!
      Previously, Courtesy of the Patricia Santry collection !!
                 Presently, SAFELY in my Museum !!


(b. 1824, d. 1900)

Second son of Thomas Kirk (q.v.), was born on the
29th May, 1824. As a boy he showed marked talent
for sculpture, and his father was desirous of placing
him as an apprentice with Chantrey who, however,
refused, saying that he thought the boy's father
would be his best teacher. He was, sent to the Dublin
Society's School as a pupil in April, 1839, and also
worked in his father's studio in Jervis Street.
In 1845 he entered Trinity College, but left without
taking his degree. He made his first appearance as
an exhibitor in the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1844.
His "Iris Ascending," now at Marlborough House, was
exhibited in 1846 and was purchased for fifteen
pounds by the Royal Irish Institution.

He had, however, little desire to continue in his
profession as a sculptor, his one wish being to become
a clergyman, a wish ultimately fulfilled.  But for some
years he worked at his profession and was made an
Associate of the Royal Hibernian Academy on 16th
February, 1850.

Besides groups and busts he did a large figure of
"Justice" for the Courthouse in Belfast; he designed
the Shakespeare dessert service for the Worcester
China works, which was shown in the Dublin Exhibition
in 1853, and also several figures: "Erin," 'Winter,"
"Summer," etc., for the Belleek works.

He was an exhibitor in the Royal Academy from
1848 to 1857, and during most of that time was
resident in England, at the Royal Dublin Society and
exhibited at the Royal Academy 1848-57. He worked
for Kerr & Binns of Worcester between 1852 and
1860, designing and sculpting many well-known pieces
such as "Tragedy" and "Comedy".

  ** MORE ON KIRK !!
It is likely that W. B. Kirk and Robert Armstrong
knew each other from Armstrong's time as the
architect working at the rebuilding of parts of the
Kerr & Binns Worcester pottery in the 1850s.

In 1860 William Boyton Kirk entered the ministry
of the Church of England becoming a vicar of Holy
Trinity, Birkenhead and later of St. Peter's,
Ashton-under-Lyne. As a clergyman he was noted
for his fiery sermons and strong Christian beliefs
and attracted a very large congregation.

In the "Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913" his
biography states that he sculpted several figures:
"Erin," "Winter," "Summer," etc., for the Belleek
works. (The latter two are unknown in the Belleek
archive) The biography further states that "After
his ordination he occasionally did some busts,
including "Lord James Butler," "Dr. Ellicot, Bishop of
Gloucester"; "Dr. Ryle, Bishop of Liverpool," and a
figure of "Jael," his last work exhibited in Dublin.

He was author of "The Immaculate Conception; or
the Martyrs of Santiago"; 'The Sailor's Complaint";
'The Martyrs of Antioch," and other poems, and of
'The Antiquities of Ashton-under-Lyne and

He married in 1853 Sarah Watson Mahony, daughter
of Denis Fitzgerald Mahony, of Co. Limerick.

He remained a fellow of the Royal Hibernian Academy
until he resigned his Associate-ship in 1873, and on
the 11th October of that year was made an Honorary

  Her Beautiful Visage !!

                          Erin's GORGEOUS Visage !!

Some mystery remains to whether the "Figure of
Erin" made its first appearance at this Exhibition or
might if been developed by W. B. Kirk for Belleek
and shown much earlier?  Until we have some definite
evidence otherwise it is more than likely that it was
designed and modelled especially for the 1872 Dublin


Erin is displayed, at the Belleek Pottery, in the
cabinet representing product sent to the 1872
Dublin Exhibition.  The actual "Figure of Erin" shown
is stamped with a third period stamp dating it to
being made sometime between 1926 and 1946.  This
"Figure of Erin" was displayed for many years in the
old showroom situated between the Pottery and
Belleek Main Street. The building was demolished in
1966. The figurine has featured in the Pottery
museum since it opened in 1990.

Opening Catalogue Page !!
              (c)1932 Belleek Pottery Catalogue Opening Page !!

The figure of Erin features on the first page of the
1904 Belleek Catalogue and priced at 63 shillings
wholesale and it remained in production right up until
the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. It is
not shown in the in the 1949 Catalogue although a
small number were probably made to order in the
years immediately afterwards.

     Opening Page Price Guide !!
                        Erin's VERY Resonable Cost !!

Utlizing the conversion rates discouvered at the Site :


you'll discouver that your Figure of Erin would have
set you back an excessive $22.08 (US$'s) with a
purchase during our depression of 1932 !!  NOTE :
The British Pound 'maxed' out for a period of years
in 1932, which is the year I'm utilizing for this price
conversion as the previous Price Page Reproduction is
Copied from an Old Pottery Catalogue, which contains
a "Copy of a Talk on Belleek China" By Miss Eileen
Phillips from B.B. Station, Belfast, June, 1931.

AMAZINGLY, again, utilizing the 'global exchange
rate table',
we'll discouver that you could have
purchased your own Figure of Erin for a mere
$15.33 (US$'s approximately !!) if you visited
the Pottery during their 1904 season !!

In 2008 the piece was relaunched as part of the
Archive Collection of that year with a limited issue
of twenty figurines each with a specially numbered
trademark.  This Figure of Erin is part of an edition
of twenty pieces only, afterwards the moulds will be
returned to the Belleek Pottery archive.

Again, I Wish All Belleekers Extensive Enjoyment and
Happiness this New Year !!

AND, for my New Year's Resolution : I REALLY plan
to procrastinate MORE !!  Beginning TOMORROW !!


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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