Ceramic Art Company Tankard - American Belleek 1889 - 1906
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This luscious tall tankard is hand painted American Belleek porcelain, made by the Ceramic Art Company in Trenton, New Jersey. Walter Scott Lenox was one of the two founders in 1889, producing art pottery and early American Belleek. The green mark on the bottom consists of an artist's palette with the intertwined letters CAC in the center, along with the word Belleek. By 1906, the name of the company was changed to Lenox, Inc. and the mark changed to a similar palette one, but with a cursive L in its center, which was used until 1924. This tankard dates before 1906.
While American Belleek is classed as pottery, it compares favorably to porcelain; when held to the light, you can see your fingers through the bottom. This tankard is in spectacular condition, with the hand painting fresh and the gilding on the upper rim intact. The molded, applied handle with raised decorations is painted in the same colors of brown, rust and green as the grapes, grapevines and leaves are on the pale ecru body. Even the dry bottom rim has virtually no rubbing and the interior is clean and unstained. There are no chips, cracks or fleabites; this has probably been a cabinet piece for over 100 years.
The tankard stands 7 1/2 inches tall, has a 3 inch wide mouth, a 4 inch diameter base and is 6 inches across the body including the handle. It weighs 1 1/4 pounds. It's a striking example of CAC American Belleek, produced for such a short period of time and valued so highly.
© Linda Henrich