Reading My Way Around the World

Wednesday 29 October 2014

My favourite Tea Set

In response to a post by Josna at Tell Me Another earlier this year, I thought I'd put up some photos of my old Belleek Tea Set that I guard like a mother lion incase anyone should break a piece.

Belleek is best known for it's shamrock ware which was mostly exported to the United States and was a big seller with Irish living anywhere abroad.  We sent it as presents and it was especially sought after for wedding gifts.

And second to that was the basket ware - hand made and hand woven baskets with hand made and hand painted flowers.
A finished basket

Wet clay being rolled into flowers.
The basket before firing

I spent a couple of school holidays working in the Pottery, in the office, learning how to do up the wages and piece ware books (the potters were paid by the piece) ... but most of all I learned my way around the workings of the pottery.   I used to love watching the guys working at the basket ware  ... the wet clay was a bit like pasta when it was pressed out into strings of clay and it had a very unique smell.

But then there were designs that weren't so popular and those were far and away my favourites and are collectors items.   Nowadays, the china has changed a bit in texture but it's still lovely.

My tea set was passed on to me by my mother after Dad passed away.

The design is Mask I think from the period between 1925-55.

I love the ritual of using a special tea set ... it takes me right back to my childhood.

This parian ware (another name for the fine white porcelain), they said, could be dropped on a stone floor and not break .... I've never wanted to test that out, but for sure tea and coffee tastes a lot better in it.

This blog is Day 18 in Sarah Allen's 30 day blog challenge


  1. Oh what a fabulous story - your tea set is a treasure Fil. And how fun to have an insider's view of the pottery creation. I can hardly believe the basketwork!

  2. Never heard of that china before Fil. Lovely stuff. It makes all the difference drinking out of china doesn't it? I have sold most of my china as I don't think Matt's kids would bother to cross the pond to get it. Or anything else for that matter. The basketwork reminds me of another china - French or German, can't remember right now, which I used to love.

    1. I think either Limoges or Meissen had some sort of basket ware Jo, but Belleek was very unusual cos it was so fine.
      It's a shame you sold your china - people don't have space anymore do they for fine things?


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