The Beauty of Belleek

As the world celebrates 
St. Patrick's Day, I want to share with you some teaware that I hold near and dear.
One of the things I cherish about Ireland is its traditions of craftsmanship. Whether it's intricate wool weaving, fine Waterford crystal or beautiful bone china, people from around the world (and in Ireland) want to collect these quality pieces.

Courtesy of wikipedia

Belleek is a well known Irish pottery that produces bone china pieces. In fact it is the one of the world's oldest working potteries in the world. It opened in 1857 and its location has remained the same throughout its history: County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland.
The above photo is the factory (open for tours) and there is a welcome center along with a tea room.
Here is the information about the visitors centre.

Belleek pieces have many traits which make them so unique from other potteries. The older pieces are remarkably thin, slightly iridescent and appear "wet."

I would like to share with you some from my collection. The older pieces I have purchased from antique stores and the rest were gifted to me by my uncles in Ireland while visiting. As some of you may know, my mother is from Ireland and all of her siblings still live in there (County Cork) and in London.

This is my oldest piece of Belleek with a third black mark (1926-1946) and is in the Limpet pattern.

Salt bowl- also in third black mark

Example of third black mark backstamp

Sugar Bowl in first green mark (1946-1955)

Harp in seventh mark (gold) 1980-1992

 Tiny Vase (Gold Mark) 1980-1992

I placed Irish soil from Owenahincha in West Cork in this vase!

This teacup looks similar to the top one, but is from the sixth mark (1965-1980).

Here is a guide to the backstamps:

 Sweet Candy Bowl 

Classic basketweave pattern with the iconic shamrocks

 Thanks for reading! I tried to feature some pieces that were not a part of last year's St. Patrick's post.

Have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day!

Bring your favorite teacup to the following parties:


  1. What a wonderful post about Belleek. It is such a wonderful type of China.

  2. Thank you for the information on Belleek, Nora. When my late beloved were in Ireland, the plant was not open. My great grandmother came from County Cork. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  3. I, too love Belleek! You have a wonderful collection..and especially precious with the family Irish background! A very happy St. Patrick's Day to you! Thanks so much for linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea!

  4. I love Belleek. You have a marvelous collection. I'm sure many of your piece hold very special memories for you. Happy St. Patrick's Day and Happy Tea Day!

  5. Your post is very interesting, Nora. The Belleek is lovely and what wonderful pieces you have. My hubby's relatives on his mother's side came from Ireland and you can tell too. They all had a fun spirit and a firey temper which has been passed down through the family. I'm glad my hubby has a harness on his temper and one very seldom ever sees him upset. Thank you for sharing today and linking up with me.


  6. Dear Nora:
    I am amazed at all this information about Belleek. I really don't a lot about it. I think your collection is wonderful and your knowledge is vast. Nora, I am so glad you have you share and link and wish you a Happy St. Patrick's Day. This is moving week for me - so excited it is finally here!

  7. Thank you for sharing your fabulous Belleek collection, Nora! I always keep an eye out for Belleek pieces during my treasure hunts, but have yet to find one that's compatible with my wallet. Heh. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  8. Thank you for sharing the history of Belleek.
    I have a couple of the basketweave pieces and they are so very delicate. I'm always frightened they will get broken.
    Your collection is amazing. Happy St Patrick''s Day :)

  9. What a beautiful and meaningful collection of Belleek. My Mom had a small collection and my Sister and I are lucky enough to share it now. Visiting from Roses of Inspiration.

  10. Beautiful dishes and vintage porcelain pieces by Belleek. Hope someday I can acquire something in the Belleek shamrock pieces.
    I love that harp, it's lovely.
    Have a great St. Pat's.

  11. Your Belleek pieces are lovely. Thank you for including the chart of marks. I have a sugar and creamer with the 3rd black mark and two small pitchers with the 6th/3rd green mark.
    The two small pitchers were wedding gifts.
    Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  12. Thanks for the information about the history of Belleek china. It is quite elegant and expensive.
    Happy St. Patrick's Day.

  13. I adore Belleek but haven't afforded any for myself yet. I like learning things like you shared about their factory. How special that you have pieces gifted to you from family and that you still have family in Ireland. Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  14. Nora, Thank you for finding this information on the backstops. I am always trying to find backstamp information for other makes of china, and sometimes it is so confusing. I have been to Ireland but never to the Belleek factory, although it is definitely on my list for a future visit. Your pieces are quite special. Have a happy St. Patrick's Day! Linda

  15. Here visiting from Kathleen's blog crawl :) Your Belleek pieces are beautiful and stand out so well with the black background. How wonderful that you were gifted some of them from family in Ireland! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  16. You have a very nice collection of beautiful Belleek, Nora. I love the harp.
    Happy SPD!

  17. Love your Belleek collection. I am going to keep my eyes opened for some pieces while antiquing. Thank you for your information about them; it will help if I get lucky and can find some. Delicate and beautiful: I love the basketweaving! Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day!! Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

  18. Beautiful Belleek. Loved the information on the company. I was aware of their history, but need a refresher. You have some lovely pieces. The harp is my favorite as it is so charming.

  19. Great post! I'm not very familiar with Belleek put your information was very interesting, Your pieces are stunning. Thanks for sharing. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  20. I loved learning more about the Belleek markings and how to figure out when the different pieces were made. I only have a few pieces (vases) but I would love to know more about them. Thank you!

  21. What exquisite pieces you have! Thank you for the info. I really didn't know much about Belleek!

  22. What an interesting post, Nora...and beautiful Belleek! I really, really love your Limpet pattern, so very elegant!

  23. Beautiful collection, Nora! I only have a few pieces, but my sister has service for 12, an amazing collection. Her dh is Irish born, we are narrow backs! :) Hope you had a grand day! Happy Easter too!

  24. I adore your beautiful Belleck china collection. The list of the marks was so informative. I have a small collection and some from my mother. Enjoy the Spring weather.


  25. Wow, belleck! You have such a nice collection. I was only aware of the black and green mark! Belleck is so pretty and delicate and light! Thanks for visiting my blog, and happy Easter!

  26. Those china collections is just gorgeous. Thanks for sharing a glimpse your Bellecks, such an interesting information.

  27. Love those patterns, such a nice piece of art. Thank you for sharing!


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