The firm of David Mc Birney & Co was formed in 1857 and the lease on the pottery site signed. Robert Armstrong became the first manager and Art director of the pottery and it is interesting that the symbols chosen for the emblem of the Pottery were the Harp, Round Tower and Wolfhound sitting on an island of shamrocks. Perhaps chosen to proclaim the arrival of a new product of Ireland.
In turn Belleek itself became symbolic of Ireland and often emigrants would bring a piece of Belleek with them to their new homes across the globe to serve as a reminder of "the old country".
Some pieces of Belleek also carry the British Patent Office registration mark which gives the date of registration, not the date the piece was manufactured.
During this period Belleek also used impressed mark, with the words "Belleek, CO.
However one explanation given was that a green mark was less noticeable looking at it from the inside of a Belleek piece!
The green fifth mark was introduced in 1955 and a registry "R" replaced the old registered number "0857" It remained until 1965 when the green 6th mark was made smaller and the "R" was positioned above the harp on the stamp.
In 1980 a gold coloured stamp was introduced, shortening the banner inscription to "Ireland" and removing the Celtic disc altogether.
Although the original plan was to replace the trademark every ten years after 1980, this did not work out and the next new mark did not come into place until 1993!
In April 1980 the seventh mark was introduced to commemorate the centenary of Gold medal won at the Melbourne Exhibition of 1880.On Earthenware the stamp Belleek changed to "Melvin Ware" in 1936 probably to distinguish it from the more prestigious Parian China.The Pottery resumed full production in 1946 In tests carried out on backstamps, green was felt to be less obtrusive than black at showing through the translucent China and thus it was decided to change the colour from black to green.All of our Belleek's Giftware marks, with minor exceptions, include symbols which are unmistakably Irish – The Irish Wolfhound with head turned to face the Round Tower believed to be modelled on Fermanagh's own Devenish Round Tower, the Irish Harp and sprigs of shamrock which border the ends of the banner at base of each design and carries the single word Belleek.Select your required mark for more detailed information: The colour of the mark during this period was predominantly black but other colours were used, amongst them red, blue, orange, green, brown, and pink.A circle with Celtic knot work was added with the Gaelic words "deanta in éireann" meaning made in Ireland.The fourth mark was introduced in 1946 with the only difference between it and the preceding mark was that the colour changed to green. Perhaps it was simply to have a different colour of mark.The colour was changed to gold and the round disk with "deanta in eireann" was omitted.At sometime around 1984 the gold colour on the mark was substituted with a browner toned gold colour to improve the clarity of the backstamp.One Hundred and fifty years later we proudly are issuing a new backstamp to celebrate our background and history but equally to proclaim that we are continuing to design and manufacture new products and are dynamically striving to enhance and expand the appeal of Belleek.Down through the years Belleek have introduced numerous variations on the original trademark introduced by the founders in the 1860s.