Collectors Society


Belleek Collectors International Society

Welcome to the Belleek Collectors International Society

Founded in 1979 the Belleek Collectors society has in the past had  several thousand members from all over the world including USA, Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, Australia & New Zealand.  Going forward there is no formal membership and all information on the website is freely available.

There are special events and gatherings organised by the chapters and groups from time to time and upcoming events will be notified through Belleek Pottery website and Facebook.

For more details on how to become a part of the various Belleek Collectors groups please see below details of local chapters and groups:

Belleek Pottery Facebook Page

Belleek Pottery Visitor Centre Facebook Page

Belleek Collectors International Society Facebook Page

Northern Ireland Collectors Group

UK Collectors Group

The Story of the Belleek Collectors Society

Attendees at the First Belleek Collectors Tour May 1982

Pictured here are members of the Belleek Collectors Society’s first trip to Belleek Pottery which took place on Saturday 22nd June 1982. Over sixty people made the trip mainly from the United States and Canada.    The Collectors Society had been formed in 1979 with the objective to bring the story and produce of  Belleek Pottery to a wider audience.   The tour not only took in the delights of  Belleek Pottery but  involved a week  long visit  to all the  main tourist destinations in Ireland where the members formed a bond which would lead to many collector groups being formed in subsequent years.

Richard K. Degenhardt

Richard K. Degenhardt pictured here, founder of the Belleek Collectors Society.

It was through the publication of his book  ‘Belleek; The Complete Collectors Guide’ published in 1978 after several years of exhaustive research that brought Richard to the attention of Belleek Pottery and the genesis of the idea to form a Belleek Collectors Society.

Richard was born in the St Louis area of Missouri. His maternal grandparents were Irish from County Cork and this accounts for his middle initial ‘K’ which is Kennedy.

Later in 1979 Richard was appointed as Executive Vice -President of Belleek Ireland Inc. with special responsibility for the Belleek Collectors Society. Through his travels and meeting interested individuals and groups, many local societies or chapters began to be formed throughout the United States and Canada. In 1985 the following chapters were listed in the Belleek Collectors magazine:

San Diego CA, Los Angeles Orange County CA, Santa Clara Valley CA, Washington State, Downtown Chicago, South & West Chicago, Kansas City, Cleveland OH, Cincinnati OH, Phoenix, Denver, Houston, Maryland and Boston. 

 

The First Belleek Collectors Honouree was selected in 1986. The person chosen by the members of the Society was  Commander Fred Gary U.S.N.R.  and past president of the San Diego Chapter of the Belleek Collectors Society.

Fred Gary was a familiar face at the pottery having been on the inaugural collectors tour in 1982 and been on most of the subsequent trips. His enthusiasm and knowledge of Belleek impressed  everyone who met him and it was a fitting tribute that he became the very first Belleek Honouree.

Commander Gary and his wife Betty were honoured with a champagne reception at the Hotel De Coronado. All society members from the San Diego area were invited to attend, There too were Bernard O’Rourke, Executive Vice President of Belleek USA and Jeanne Fahey special events co-ordinator representing Belleek Pottery.

Later in June of that year Fred Gary was inducted at the Pottery as the first Belleek Honouree at a reception at the Hyland Hotel in Donegal town.

The role of an honouree for their year of holding the chain of office meant that they acted as ambassadors of the Pottery speaking to and encouraging groups of collectors to form chapters  as well as  enhancing their knowledge of the wide range of Belleek products both in the past but also its current products.

 

 

The First Belleek Collectors Convention was held in Los Angeles in February 1993. There were over 275 attendees with representation from eighteen chapters including those from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.

The Convention was also attended by many of the Hall of fame Honourees and President of the Belleek Collectors International Society Mrs Angela Moore addressed the assembly remarking that it was exciting to be part of such an enthusiastic group of people.

A special plate was made to mark the occasion and limited to 5oo pieces. It was designed by Fergus Cleary Head of the Pottery’s design team and it incorporated a cluster of scallop shells on the outer rim a reminder of many of the Pottery’s early designs incorporating marine themes. The central portion displayed the Belleek trademark used by the company since its earliest production.

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The First Belleek Collectors Honouree was selected in 1986. The person selected by the choice of the members of the Society was  Commander Fred Gary U.S.N.R.  and past president of the San Diego Chapter of the Belleek Collectors Society.

Commander Gary and his wife Betty were honoured with a champagne reception at the Hotel De

A special plate was made to mark the occasion and limited to 5oo pieces. It was designed by Fergus Cleary Head of the Pottery's design team and it incorporated a cluster of scallop shells on the outer rim a reminder of many of the Pottery's early designs incorporating Marine themes. The central portion displayed the Belleek trademark used by the company since its earliest production in the 1860s.

 

The First Belleek Collectors Honouree was selected in 1986. The person selected by the choice of the members of the Society was  Commander Fred Gary U.S.N.R.  and past president of the San Diego Chapter of the Belleek Collectors Society.

Commander Gary and his wife Betty were honoured with a champagne reception at the Hotel De

A special plate was made to mark the occasion and limited to 5oo pieces. It was designed by Fergus Cleary Head of the Pottery's design team and it incorporated a cluster of scallop shells on the outer rim a reminder of many of the Pottery's early designs incorporating Marine themes. The central portion displayed the Belleek trademark used by the company since its earliest production in the 1860s.

 

The First Belleek Collectors Convention was held in Los Angeles in February 1993. There were over 275 attendees with representation from eighteen chapters including those from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.

The Convention was also attended by many of the Hall of fame Honourees and President of the Belleek Collectors International Society Mrs Angela Moore addressed the assembly remarking that it was exciting to be part of such an enthusiastic group of people.

A special plate was made to mark the occasion and limited to 5oo pieces. It was designed by Fergus Cleary Head of the Pottery's design team and it incorporated a cluster of scallop shells on the outer rim a reminder of many of the Pottery's early designs incorporating Marine themes. The central portion displayed the Belleek trademark used by the company since its earliest production in the 1860s.