Among the earliest gifts to the museum’s permanent collection is a large group of fine ceramics produced by the Belleek Pottery Works in Northern Ireland. Established in 1857, and still in operation today, Belleek is renowned internationally for its production of intricately patterned tableware, sculpture, and decorative objects. Executed in a type of porcelain known as parian china, the resulting white ceramic prior to glazing is said to resemble the marble quarried on the Greek island of Paros.
JCSM’s diverse collection, donated to the museum by Dwight and Helen Carlisle, numbers 330 pieces and includes examples from each historic period of Belleek’s production. Tthe collection includes a rare spider plate, woven baskets, vases, busts, tea sets, place settings and decorative objects.