He involved several investors and scientists and after many years of research, trial, error, the building of a railway line to import coal from England, and building a factory, the Belleek pottery resulted, employing the local people and soon producing the finest china made with clay from the Belleek area. What had started as a way to fend off famine among the local tenants had became a story of incredible success by the 1880s as Queen Victoria fell in love with the fine white china and the many homely, slightly bizarre but nature-loving designs; this was different from English tradition, yet it was very much to the taste of the British who had developed a real love for home-made fine china since it was introduced in the late 18th Century.
Belleek not only brought out many tea services, but started a new tradition of intricately woven porcelain baskets. The Echinus series is one of the most famous series Belleek brought out.Queen Victoria loved it and ordered a little breakfast set just like this, which she used every morning the rest of her life. Echinus is the name of a sea urchin, and you can see why: the belly of the teapot is shaped and moulded like a sea urchin. But the references to sea life don't stop there: the handle, foot and spout are all shaped like coral, and the finial of the teapot is a little shell held up by little twigs of sea asparagus. The artwork of the moulding is exquisite, all the way from the urchin surface to the rather wild and slightly spooky coral handle. The milk jug and teacups have beautiful lustre inside; the teacups a little darker than the jug. The tray has a beautiful imprinted pattern of what looks like large kelp leaves, and the same charming choral pattern around the edges matching the handles of the teapot and milk jug. These items are extremely rare to find these days so even to find this set is a unique opportunity.
CONDITION REPORT The set is in excellent antique condition, with a few professional and invisible repairs. The teapot has a repair to the inside of the rim - but if handled carefully and washed carefully (without submerging, and in water that is not too hot) it should still be possible to use the pot. There is also some emulsion on the underside of the pot, presumably hiding a superficial hairline, but there is no crack in the bottom so again this should not stop you from using the pot as long it is washed carefully. Other than this, there is no damage and no wear. The tray has some imperfections baked into the glaze, which is normal for items of this era; the glaze is also a bit bubbly on the underside, which cannot be seen when it is in position.Antique porcelain is never perfect. Kilns were fired on coal in the 1800s, and this meant that china from that period can have some firing specks from flying particles. British makers were also known for their experimentation, and sometimes this resulted in technically imperfect results. Due to the shrinkage in the kiln, items can have small firing lines or develop crazing over time, which should not be seen as damage but as an imperfection of the maker's recipes, probably unknown at the time of making. Items have often been used for many years and can have normal signs of wear, and gilt can have signs of slight disintegration even if never handled. I will reflect any damage, repairs, obvious stress marks, crazing or heavy wear in the item description but some minor scratches, nicks, stains and gilt disintegration can be normal for vintage items and need to be taken into account. There is widespread confusion on the internet about the difference between chips and nicks, or hairlines and cracks. I will reflect any damage as truthfully as I can, i. A nick is a tiny bit of damage smaller than 1mm and a chip is something you can easily see with the eye; a glazing line is a break in the glazing only; hairline is extremely tight and/or superficial and not picked up by the finger; and a crack is obvious both to the eye and the finger. Etcetera - I try to be as accurate as I can and please feel free to ask questions or request more detailed pictures! DIMENSIONS The pot stands 16cm (6.25") high to the top of the finial and handle, and measures 23.5cm (9.25") from handle to spout.
The jug stands 9cm (3.5") high and measures 12cm (4.75") from mouth to handle. Teacup is 8.5cm (3.75") diameter and 5cm (2") high, saucer is 13.5cm (5.25) diameter.
The tray measures 46cm (18") by 37cm (14.5"). The item "Belleek cabaret tea set, cream Echinus, 1867-1926" is in sale since Thursday, June 3, 2021. This item is in the category "Pottery & Glass\Decorative Pottery & Glassware\Vases".
The seller is "rattlethecups" and is located in London. This item can be shipped to North, South, or Latin America, all countries in Europe, all countries in continental Asia, Australia.