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Belleek Press Release

Belleek Unveils Most Expensive Piece Ever

An elaborate parian china centrepiece created for the Paris Exhibition of 1900 has been reproduced by the craftsmen at Belleek Pottery and is to go on sale at a price of £75,000 making it the most expensive item ever to be produced commercially by the pottery.

 The new ‘International Centrepiece’ was unveiled by the Pottery today (Thursday 30th August).  Reproduced using the original design moulds created by the Pottery’s then Head of Design Frederick Slater, the centrepiece has taken a handpicked team of Belleek’s most experienced craftspeople over a year to create and an estimated 400 individual craftsman hours.  A limited edition of five of the recreated International Centrepieces is to be released to mark this, the Pottery’s 155thAnniversary.   Standing over 30” inches high, the centrepiece is a three-footed urn with three Irish wolf hounds keeping guard around the base and is decorated with Irish harps and hand crafted flowers.

The complex reproduction project has been led by Belleek’s current Head of Design Fergus Cleary and has involved the making of new moulds and the creation of 50 separate pieces.

“I joined the Pottery in 1978and for a long time I have wondered whether we could ever recreate such an intricate piece.  The original International Centrepiece was created for the Paris Exhibition in 1900 to demonstrate the quality of the pottery’s craftsmanship and the piece unveiled today does likewise for our skills in 2012. 

We were lucky that the original moulds from 1900 had been retained in our store but they were unusable and had to be painstakingly reconstructed using the exact same skills originally employed to make the centrepiece over a hundred years ago.   From there it really was a matter of professional pride for all of us involved to deliver a product of the quality and attention to detail that would be worthy of our forefathers.  I believe that the centrepiece unveiled today exceeds our expectations” said Fergus Cleary.

Anyone who has visited Belleek Pottery will recognise the original International Centrepiece.  After the design and craftsmanship of the centrepiece was awarded a Gold Medal at the Paris Exhibition, the centrepiece was returned to the Pottery.  Since 1989 it has been displayed in a secure glass case in the entrance area of the Belleek Pottery Visitor Centre. 

Commenting on the decision to launch the limited edition of the International Centrepieces, John Maguire, Managing Director, Belleek Pottery Group said -

“Everyone who visits the Pottery stops to look at the International Centrepiece and to marvel at the design detail and craftsmanship that was being produced by thecompany in the Victorian era.  Fergus and his team took on a very significant challenge in trying to reproduce this piece and we are delighted with the results.  I am confident that local and international collectors of Belleek will be interested in this limited edition. The grapevine amongst china collectors is very strong and even prior to today’s launch we have had approaches from potential purchasers”.



Belleek Pottery Launch Titanic Commemorative Plate

Belleek Pottery Launch Titanic Commemorative Plate

To Commermorate the 100th Anniversary of the Titanic setting sail from Belfast to Southampton, Belleek Pottery has produced a special plate depicting the event.

Hand painted by Belleek artist Kevin Carty, the Titanic Plate shows the ship at anchor in Belfast Lough prior to setting sail on its maiden voyage.

As well as being a full time artist at Belleek, Kevin is an accomplished painter in oils and he orginally created his Titanic image in oils. Re-producing the painting on ceramic is a complex process as Kevin explains -
In oil painting you apply the paint in layers but when working in ceramic you also have to fire each layer of paint in the kiln to over 750 degrees centigrade. The Titanic Plate requires five separate firings as it is such a detailed image. Also because each plate is hand painted no two are exactly the same which makes each a unique work of art" said Kevin Carty.

Commenting on the decision to produce a Titanic Plate, John Maguire, Managing Director Belleek Pottery said -
"Although we have no documentary evidence, it is very likely that many of the people from Ireland who set sail on Titanic for a new life in America, had a treasured piece of Belleek amoungst their belongings.
The decision to create this commemorative plate was taken in response to the demand from our collectors both locally and internationally. The Titanic and the tragedy that befell its passengers and crew, is remembered across the world and we felt that it was appropriate in this Centenary year to create something special"

Belleek Chosen To Create Gift for Her Majesty The Queen

Here at Belleek Pottery, we are extremely proud and honoured to have been selected to create a specially commissioned gift for Her Majesty The Queen!
Commenting on the announcement by the First Minister Peter Robinson MLA that the NI Executive’s gift to Her Majesty
Press Release from Belleek

Here at Belleek Pottery, we are extremely proud and honoured to have been selected to create a specially commissioned gift for Her Majesty The Queen to mark her Diamond Jubilee is to be created by Belleek Pottery.

John Maguire, Managing Director, Belleek Pottery said - “We are honoured to have been given the opportunity to create this special gift for Her Majesty and to have received the endorsement of all the Ministers in the NI Executive to do so.”

The specially designed piece, which will be presented to Her Majesty The Queen during her forthcoming visit to Northern Ireland, will demonstrate the high level of creative skill and handcraftsmanship for which Belleek Pottery is renowned the world over.

At the moment all details regarding the design are highly confidential but we are very much looking forward to sharing it with you very soon, so stay tuned!s in the NI Executive to do so.

We have already submitted a concept design to the Executive and this has been given their approval. There is, however, still a great deal of work to be done by our design team in finalising the fine detail of the piece to be created. Needless to say Her Majesty’s gift will demonstrate the high level of creative skill and handcraftsmanship for which Belleek Pottery is renowned the world over”. release showing the basket








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