Friday, December 18, 2015

Belleek Newslettre (# 19.2)


I wish all Belleekers the most joyful of Holiday
Seasons and hopes for a peaceful and prosperous
New Year !!

Here’s my little Holiday decorations including a fine
selection of Boyd Art Glass Christmas Artie the
Penguins !!  My humble holiday tree is NO comparison
to the Pottery’s exquisite display !!

Christmas 2015 !!
              My little tree and Boyd Glass Ornaments !!


Ms. Johannah Purdon, our faithful event organizer,
is considering a Belleeker Gathering in New Orleans
this Spring Time !! Her 'details' are as follows :



Friday 5/27/16 – Saturday 05/28/16

$199 for Weekend includes – Friday night cocktail
party Saturday night dinner 6 – 8 Tables available
for selling !!

Room for gathering and socializing (we have enough
to cover)

Room rates for week end- approximately $169 per
night plus state and local taxes. Working on keeping
special rate for the week.


E-mail : gracie@AlwaysLuv2Shop.com
Télè : 201-314-8072

They will not keep a hold on these rooms long !!
I need 25 room reservations for Friday and Saturday !!
If there is enough interest I will go ahead with
contract !!

We have NO 'set' programme at the moment, but
ANY and ALL suggestions are MORE than welcome as
we proceed !!  I.e., currently, this is only a social
gathering for Belleekers and friends !!


I can't stress this more !! It's VERY important to
contact Johannah ASAP if you plan on attending !!
AND, as ALWAYS, PLEASE pass this on, i.e.,
(FORWARD) to ALL your Belleeker friends and
acquaintances !!


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"

** THOUGHT for the DAY !!

Some people are like Slinkies .. ..
      not really good for much, but they bring a smile
      to your face when pushed down the stairs !!


County Fermanagh (from Irish: Fir Manach or
Fear Manach
, meaning "men (tribe) of Manach")
is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland.
I have also recently discouvered a pair of secondary
meanings, more specifically, “men from the county of
the lakes” and "Region of the monks" !!

I could not discouver any additional information
regarding the reference to “Region of the Monks”,
but as regards “.. the county of the lakes”, the
Upper and Lower Lough Erne, a unique maze of
channels, islands, waterways and semi-connected
lakes, cover a large part of the surface of the
county. The locals say "in summer Lough Erne is in
Fermanagh; in winter Fermanagh is in Lough Erne".

After the defeat of the O'Neills and the subsequent
emigration of most of the native leaders at the start
of the seventeenth century, Fermanagh was
incorporated into the Plantation of Ulster, and an
influx of English and Scottish settlers took place.

Of all the surnames associated with the county one
stands out: Maguire. From the time of its first firm
establishment, in Lisnaskea around the start of the
thirteenth century, all the associations of the family
have been with Fermanagh. By the start of the
fourteenth century, the chief of the family, Donn
Carrach Maguire, was ruler of the entire county, and
for the following three hundred years there were no
fewer than 15 Maguire chieftains of the territory.
By the year 1600, what is now Co. Fermanagh quite
simply belonged to the family. It is still the single
most common surname in the county.

I’ve NOT been able to establish whether our
Pottery’s current Managing Director, John Maguire
is a direct descendant of Donn Carrach Maguire ??
POSSIBLY you’ll help us out John ??  I HAVE
discouvered that one of our notable UK Group
members DOES trace his lineage back to these
remote warriors !!

Belleek (from Irish Béal Leice, meaning "mouth of
the flagstones") is a village and civil parish in County
Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. While the greater
part of the village lies within County Fermanagh,
part of it crosses the border into County Donegal,
in the Republic of Ireland. This makes Belleek the
western-most village in the United Kingdom. It lies
in the historic Barony of Lurg.

The barony of Lurg is based on the ancient Irish
territory of Tuath Luirg, also known as Fir Luirg
(the men of Lurg), who are claimed to be
genealogically related to the Airgialla, the name of
an ancient Irish federation/kingdom, it’s roots being
traced back to a battle fought in the year 331 AD !!
This territory was the patrimonial inheritance of the
O'Muldoon. It is listed in the Annals, under the name
Lorg, as being a kingdom in the year 1039. Prior to
this, Lurg was the base of the O'Monaghan, thought
to be descended from the original inhabitants of the
area, the Fir Manach, from which County Fermanagh
gets its name.

Belleek Parish was formed in 1791 by separating 36
townlands from the Parish of Templecarne. The
Parish Church was completed in 1788 on a hill close
to Castle Caldwell at Oughterdrum. Some years
earlier in 1782 Sir James Caldwell owner of the
Castle Caldwell estate, petitioned the then Bishop
of Clogher to locate the church in Belleek, which was
the main population centre. The Bishop wanted it
built in the geographic middle of the parish but it
was only after the death of Sir James that the
Bishop finally got his way. The location of the Parish
Church continued to be a bone of contention with
many of the parishioners. So much, that eventually
in 1875 the schoolhouse in Belleek was licensed for
public worship. The Caldwell family built the
schoolhouse in 1809 to educate the children of the
locality. On March 24th 1909 the former school was
consecrated as a Chapel of Ease. In 1951 Belleek
Parish was united with Garrison and Slavin Parishes
and more recently joined by Kiltyclogher Parish in
Co. Leitrim.

Belleek, Church of Ireland !!
            A view of Church of Ireland, Parish of Belleek !!

The association between Belleek Church and Belleek
Pottery has existed since the Pottery's foundation
in 1857. The three founders were members of the
Church of Ireland and one, Robert Williams
Armstrong, worshipped at the Church and is buried,
with his wife Anne Langley Nairn, and two of their
children, in the adjoining graveyard.

William Henshall who brought the craft of basket
and flower making to Belleek Pottery in 1867 is
commemorated in the Churchyard with a plaque
unveiled during the 150th anniversary of the
founding of Belleek Pottery in 2007.

William Henshallk Memorial Plaque !!
              William Henshall’s Beautiful Remembrance !!

Close-Up of William Henshall Plaque !!
                          A close-up of his plaque !!

If you can’t decipher some of the verbiage on
William Henshall’s memorial,
following is a complete
transcription :

William Henshall

Born in Stoke, Staffordshire in 1846
died at Belleek 1902
and interred in this churchyard
He was responsible for bringing and developing
the craft of basket and flower making to
Belleek Pottery in 1867
He remained at Belleek working
and producing many innovative basket designs
over the next 35 years.

This is the word that came to
Jeremiah from the Lord:
“Can I not do with you as this potter does?”
“Like clay in the hand of the potter,
so are you in my hand.” Jeremiah Ch.XVIII v. V

This plaque has been placed to his memory
on 150th Anniversary
of the founding of Belleek Pottery
Unveiled by Helen Rankin (Honouree 2007)
and members of the
Belleek International Collectors Society worldwide.
April 2007

Halahan Dunbar was the Church of Ireland Curate in
Belleek from 1865 - 1867. While there, he was
commissioned by Robert Armstrong to design the
Figure of a Greyhound as part of a centrepiece
known as the "Group of Greyhounds" that eventually
became one of Belleek’s most enduring and iconic

Leash of Four Greyhounds !!
                    A SPLENDID Leash of Greyhounds !!

As seen below, three stained glass windows were
unveiled in Belleek Church of Ireland in May 2009
to commemorate the founders of Belleek Pottery,
John Caldwell Bloomfield, the local landowner, Robert
Williams Armstrong, architect, ceramics expert and
first manager of Belleek Pottery and David McBirney,
Dublin who provided the finance for the project. All
were members of the Church of Ireland.

Church of Ireland Stained Glass Windows !! 
    We can envision the beauty these gorgeous stained glass windows !!

Close-Up of the Potter's Hands !!
            A detailed close-up of the Belleek Potter at work !!

ENOUGH history for now !! Let us advance to present
day and the :

      22ND. thru 25TH. MAY, 2009

Following the opening service of the Belleek Flower
Festival on Friday 22nd. May, 2009, Mr John Maguire,
Managing Director of Belleek Pottery launched a new
Belleek Pottery basket, commissioned specially to
mark the bicentenary of the Church of Ireland Parish
Church in Belleek. The basket is designed after the
fabulous William Henshall basket, the man we
previously identified as the craft-person who
brought the art of basket making to Belleek and
who is buried in the Churchyard at Belleek Parish

As pictured on the front of our BCIS Collectors’
Magazine Volume 20, Number 2, 2009, the Belleek
Church Basket was created to celebrate the 200th
anniversary of the Church building, the Centenary of
Belleek Parish Church of Ireland and to commemorate
the founders of the Belleek Pottery in a new stained
glass window depicting the history of Belleek.

      Certificate of Authenticity Information !!
                  Copy of the Information Bulletin which,
              accompanied each individual Basket as part of
                    the Certificate of Authentication !!

Created by Belleek designer Catherine Townshend,
and pictured below, this exquisite basket has several
unique design features. The centre of the Basket’s
base contains a plaque displaying the Church’s newly
unveiled Potter’s Wheel stained glass windows. The
edge of the basket has a combination of Bluebells,
Roses and Daisies, all found in the local area and
symbolically representing the people of the Parish.

Potter's Wheel Basket !!
         A Picture of the Complete Belleek Church Basket !!

Close-Up of Potter's Basket Centre !!
               A Close-Up of the Detailed Interior !!

This was specifically designed as a limited edition
basket, of which only a few hundred were scheduled
for production. In actuality, 200 were produced as
part of this VERY limited edition !!

Potter's Basket LE Mark !! 
    As you can see, this is Basket Number 5 of Limited Edition 200 !!

Proceeds from the sale of the Basket were channeled
to help the fund raising efforts of the Church. As
all Belleek Baskets, this remains a very unique and
collectible basket for the many Belleek collectors

Further research reveals that the first permanent
Chapel, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Belleek, was
built in 1892, when Canon John McKenna was Parish
Priest, and it was dedicated on 11th. July 1893 by
Bishop Donnelly.

As Belleek Pottery is the main employer in the area,
evidence of the Pottery’s pre-eminence can be seen
throughout St. Patrick’s Chapel. The holy water font
in the front porch is made from Belleek earthenware.
The marble baptismal font was presented to the
Chapel by the Pottery workers in 1939. Hanging on
the wall outside the vestry door is a Belleek China
Cherub Holy Water Font !!

St Patricks Parish Stained Glass !! 
                    St. Patrick’s Stained Glass Windows
        SORRY, I’ve NOT been able to locate these in colour ??!!

As pictured above, we envision the stained glass
window, featuring a potter's hands, located above
the altar in St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church.
These were conceived, constructed and installed in
1903 at a cost of £2000.

Close-Up of Potter's Hands !!
                LASTLY, a Close-Up of this Potter’s Hands !!

AGAIN, I wish all Belleekers the MOST JOYFUL of
Holiday Seasons and HOPES for a PEACEFUL and


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  
(or) :