Sometime between 1897 - 1900 potters from the Belleek factory in Co Fermanagh established a small factory near Coalisland, Co Tyrone. They manufactured a range of vessels similar to Belleek porcelain. Several of these beautifully decorated cups and jugs have found their way into the collection.
Exactly why the venture did not succeed is uncertain, but some of their wares appear to have developed a problem with impurities in the clay eventually breaking through the surface after firing.
On the subject of Belleek, there is a bowl on display stamped on the outisde 'Armagh District Lunatic Asylum'. While most people associate Belleek with fine quality pots, they did make a range of domestic wares like this bowl. It was rescued from a dump in Armagh where apparently the director of the Asylum decided that the message on the outside of the bowl was perhaps not the best one to read at breakfast!
Ask an Expert
If you would like further information about this collection you may contact the
curator by following this link and
completing the short form.