Belleek pottery has been created and collected since the mid 1800s. According to antiques expert and author Terry Kovel, Belleek pottery is one of the best-known products from Ireland, so finding out what it is worth is fairly simple. The pottery was first created after John Caldwell Bloomfield inherited the Castle Caldwell estate in the village of Belleek, Ireland, from his father in 1849, reports the UK Belleek Collector's Group. As an amateur mineralogist, Bloomfield ordered a survey of the land and found the materials for making pottery.
Make sure your piece of china is Belleek. Belleek is a fine porcelain covered with a "creamy, yellow glaze that looks wet," says Kovel. Many classic Belleek pieces have basket-weave patterns of two or three strands and shamrock ornamentation.
Look for the Belleek mark. Although the Belleek mark changed a number of times since 1891, the size and shape is generally the same. Each mark, according to Kovel, has a picture of "a harp, a tower, an Irish wolfhound, shamrocks or a simple banner with the name Belleek on it." The mark has also changed color through the years; all of the marks are black, green, gold, brown or blue.
Search for your piece online. Several websites offer the ability to compare your piece to recent sales and auctions of similar pieces online. While this is not the most professional way to find out what your Belleek is worth, it will give you a general idea.
Seek out a professional appraisal. Look for a professional that specializes in pottery and fine china. Take your Belleek to them and have the piece appraised for insurance or resale purposes.
Michelle Hogan is a writer and the author of 13 books including the 2005 bestselling memoir, "Without a Net: Middle Class and Homeless (With Kids) in America." Hogan studied English at American University and has been writing professionally since 1998. Her work has appeared in "The New York Times," "Redbook," "Family Circle" and many other publications.