Ireland is world_famous for its production of crystal, but it also happens to be one of the sources of some of the highest_quality pottery and porcelain. A great example of this the Belleek Pottery company and the exceptional pieces it produces. Having been in operation for over a century, the company has a long and rich history of producing world_class porcelain. If you’re a Belleek Pottery novice, read on to learn everything you need to know about the company, its history, its current status, and why you should invest in its pieces.
Belleek Pottery’s history began during the time after the Irish potato famine when the country was still very much suffering from its effects. Looking for a way to give his tenants some much_needed employment, John Caldwell Bloomfield ordered a geological survey of his newly inherited estate_which revealed that he possessed all of the necessary raw materials needed to make pottery.
Once Bloomfield had settled on the idea of producing pottery, he acquired two business partners to join him in his venture: the architect Robert William Armstrong, and wealthy Dublin merchant David McBirney. However, Bloomfield still required one thing for his enterprise to be a success: accessible rail transport. Using his influence, he lobbied for the Rail Service to come to the location of his factory, and so the Belleek pottery company began with the laying of the foundation stone on 18th November 1858, taking its name from the village it was located in.
Although there were plenty of local candidates to choose from for apprentices and workmen, the company needed experienced potters and skilled craftsmen for the venture to really be a success. In order to create high_quality potter pieces, Belleek brought in 14 skilled craftsmen and potters from Stoke_on_Trent_already famous for its pottery manufacturing_with the promise of higher wages than they would receive at home.
These days, Belleek Pottery is still located in the village of Belleek in Northern Ireland, in the same Neo_Georgian building the original company began in. Home to Ireland’s oldest functioning china pottery, Belleek Pottery continues to produce over 100,000 pieces of pottery each year. Although pottery is in its name and rich history, Belleek is also famous for producing porcelain which is renowned for its thinness and iridescent surface.
Not wanting to rest on the laurels of its rich history or abandon it, Belleek continues to create pieces which strike a careful balance between exciting contemporary designs and the historic craft and heritage of the company.
Why Invest in Belleek Pottery
Belleek Pottery’s world_famous reputation is the main reason why the brand remains a worthy investment to this day, thanks to the remarkable quality and craftsmanship of each of its pieces. If the company’s reputation for quality alone doesn’t make it stand out as a worthy investment for pottery and fine china, then surely the number of awards it has won over the past century will. Picking up a prestigious gold medal at the 1900 World Exposition in Paris for its International Centre Piece, Belleek Pottery has gone on to win many more during its long operation.