Belleek marks dating
Look for a mark that says `Belleek' or `Belleek Co Fermanagh'.
If it says `Ireland' then it's the second period or later." He says that pieces from the first period go for twice that of later pieces.
He says that a first period Rathmore basket in good condition would probably fetch about £2,000 in the larger size: that is some 28cm wide or just less than a foot. For example, the Henshall basket is the only one with an overhead handle most Belleek baskets have two handles, one on either side.
The terminals of the handles are encrusted with flowers.
Mr Gambon says that teawares are less expensive and that any damage and even the teawares are fragile - has an effect on their commercial value.
During the first and for most of the second period, three strands of clay were used to weave the basket base.
Perlee was a latecomer to the American Belleek trend and may have used that mark up until 1930.
Lenox is the only one still in business, and they stopped using the Belleek mark in 1926.
Other Belleek items include menu holders, candlesticks, decorative ewers (a jug not designed for use) and spill vases (vases for the mantlepiece from which a spill or large match was plucked to light the fire). Belleek's speciality is to employ naturalistic forms like shells and other shapes related to the sea.
For instance, a cup could be shaped like a shell upturned and the handle modelled to look like a piece of coral.These are made by laying thin strands of clay into a mould: "It's like weaving.