Antique and Vintage Waterford Glassware

In 1783, brothers George and William Penrose established Waterford Crystal in Waterford, Ireland. They did not know anything about glass manufacturing, but they did see economic opportunity—demand was high for plain and decorative flint glass, and the supply was low in England, thanks to debilitating glass excise duties that did not apply to Ireland.

The Penrose brothers hoped to created crystal “as fine a quality as any in Europe… in the most elegant style.” To accomplish that goal, they brought in Quaker glassmaker John Hill, who supervised Waterford’s 50 to 70 employees for about three years. When he left, Hill gave the company’s glass formula to a clerk named Jonathan Gatchell. After William Penrose left the company around the turn of the century, Gatchell took over Waterford, along with two local families, the Ramseys and the Barcrofts.

Waterford blossomed in the early part of the 19th century—King George III ordered Waterford Crystal for his vacation residence. Waterford flint glass had become famous for its distinctive shade of gray, a color caused by sand imported from the King’s Lynn region used in Waterford’s glass recipe.

The company produced a wide array of table and ornamental cut glass, including claret and water jugs, glassware from wine glasses to goblets, bowls, candlesticks, dishes, chandeliers, and, of course, their famous decanters. These decanters featured three rings around their necks, with a mushroom-shaped stopper. One of the most collectible Waterford pieces today is the so-called apprentice bowl. At the end of his Waterford apprenticeship, the former student would carve a bowl that featured every kind of cut found in the entire Waterford line.

After Gatchell died in 1825, Waterford’s growth began to slow. Waterford submitted a hugely successful entry to the 1851 Great Exhibition in London, but heavy British taxes on glass put the company out of business that same year.

In 1947, a small group of workers restarted Waterford as part of a renewed desire for Irish art driven by the independence movement. The new Waterford began with the old company’s designs and expanded from there. The perennially popular Lismore pattern was introduced in 1952, along with Alana, Carina, and Araglin, to name just a few.

In 1986, Waterford merged with Wedgwood, and the company has continued to enjoy a sterling reputation for quality. In fact, the world-famous Times Square New Year’s Eve ball has been decorated with Waterford Crystal triangles since the ball was redesigned in 2000.


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Set Of 8 Waterford Crystal Powerscourt Pattern White Wine Glasses C. 1969Set Of 8 Waterford Crystal Powerscourt Pattern Claret Wine Glasses C. 1969Set Of 8 Waterford Crystal Powerscourt Pattern Water Goblets Or Glasses C. 1969Waterford Crystal Seahorse Set Of Two 11.5" CandlesticksVintage Waterford Crystal 'retired' Lismore Roly Poly DecanterSet Of 6 Waterford Crystal Alana Pattern Wine Hock Glasses C. 1952 *2Waterford Crystal Set Of 6 Powerscourt Cross Cut Champagne GlassesWaterford Crystal Christmas Ornament "the Times Square Collection"Waterford Crystal Times Square 2000 Star Of Hope Hurricane Lamp Candle HolderWaterford Crystal "the 12 Days Of Christmas Collection" 11 Pipers Piping FluteWaterford Crystal The Millennium Collection Happiness Toast Flute Pair *retired*Waterford Crystal "the 12 Days Of Christmas Collection"ten Lords A-leaping FluteWaterford Crystal 12 Days Of Christmas Flute 11th Edition / 11 Pipers PipingSet Of 4 Waterford Crystal Powerscourt Pattern Cordial Glasses C. 1969Waterford Crystal "the 12 Days Of Christmas Collection"nine Ladies Dancing FluteWaterford Crystal Glass Elephant PaperweightWaterford Crystal Cassidy Wedge Cut 10" BowlWaterford Crystal Wedding Heirloom 6" Bowl W/ BoxSet Of 8 Waterford Crystal Highball Glasses, Lismore, Tumblers, No Reserve !!!Set Of 6 Superb 7 1/8" Waterford Lismore Cut Crystal Balloon Wine Hocks StemsSet Of 6 Waterford Crystal Alana Pattern Wine Hock Glasses C. 1952 *1Waterford Lismore Crystal Letter Opener ~ 8-1/4" Long ~ Excellent ConditionWaterford Crystal 2012 Lismore Red Annual Cased Ball Ornament NibWaterford Crystal Sea Horse 7.5" FigureineWaterford Crystal Artist Signed Giraffe - Africa Sculpture Mint In Box Waterford Crystal Lismore Sherry Glasses Set Of 4 W/ BoxWaterford 22" Mother-of-pearl Beaded Rosary & 5.5" Crystal Celtic Cross SetMint! Beautiful Waterford Cut Crystal Letter Opener W/original BoxWaterford Clear Crystal Ship / Galleon Shaped Paperweight . Waterford Crystal Cassidy Wedge Cut 10" VaseWaterford Crystal Vase Araglin Pattern 9" Marked Ireland Glass Clear Waterford Crystal Lismore 13.5" Three-section Serving TrayWaterford Crystal Set Of 6 Lismore Pattern Champagne Flutes GlassesWaterford Crystal Artist Signed By Jim O'leary Small Alligator Mint In BoxStunning Large Waterford Cut Crystal Decanter - Lismore PatternWaterford Crystal Barn Owl Paperweight Sculpture Mint In Box Waterford Crystal Thanksgiving Turkey FigurineWaterford Crystal Wedding Cake Server - Lismore. - Unused. In BoxWaterford Cut Crystal Candy Nut Dish Heart Bow Bird Flower Wheat Votive 3 1/4"Set/lot Of (6) Vintage Waterford Lismore Crystal Cut Glass Brandy Glasses~l #10!Waterford Crystal Decanter With Stopper - Kylemore PatternWaterford Crystal Long Stemmed Red Rose . Mib Set Of 6 Waterford Crystal Alana Pattern Water Goblet Glasses C. 1952 *1Waterford "lismore" 4 Brandy Snifters/glasses 5 1/4" Tall Great Cond & LovelyWaterford Lismore Cordial Set Of Six (6) GlassesWaterford Crystal "the 12 Days Of Christmas Collection" Five Gold Rings FluteWaterford Crystal Christmas Ornament 2000 Annual, 9th Edition(8) Waterford Crystal Sheila (cut) Old Fashioned GlassesWaterford Crystal Large Running Horse Sculpture Mint In Box Waterford Crystal Disneyanna Cinderella's Crystal Glass Slipper Mint In BoxWaterford Crystal "the 12 Days Of Christmas Collection"12 Drummers Drumming Waterford Crystal Pair Of Millennium Universal Toasting Flutes Mint In BoxWaterford Crystal Tall Sailing Ship Sculpture Mint In Box Vintage Waterford Crystal Tree TopperSet Of 6 Waterford Crystal Alana Pattern Water Goblet Glasses C. 1952 *2Waterford Crystal® Lismore Brandy Snifter / Glass / Balloon, Perfect Older PieceWaterford Crystal Millennium Flutes - 5 Toast ChampagneSet Of 6 Waterford Crystal Alana Pattern Claret Wine Glasses C. 1952 *1Waterford Crystal Glass Strawberry PaperweightWaterford Irish Crystal Cut Glass Westminster Abbey Shelf Clock

Recent News: Waterford Glass

Source: Google News

A crafty trio make a success out of Waterford studio
Irish Independent, June 20th

THE COLLECTIVE: Jeweller Una O'Dwyer, goldsmith Moritz Schurmann and glassmaker Eugene Young Open Gallery 1 THE COLLECTIVE: Jeweller Una O'Dwyer, goldsmith Moritz Schurmann and glassmaker Eugene Young at Lismore Craft Studio in ...Read more

Waterford Wedgwood sold to Finnish heritage brand
Telegraph.co.uk, May 11th

The Wedgwood fortune also funded the scientific career of Charles Darwin who married into the family. Wedgwood joined forces with Ireland's Waterford Glass Group in 1986. This blue and white jasper plaque features the Birth of the Roman god Bacchus...Read more

Treasures... Crystal is a clear winner
Irish Independent, March 5th

'Don't it always seem to go. That you don't know what you've got. Till it's gone…" sang Joni Mitchell back in 1970. Too true. I'm thinking about Waterford Crystal. Massively popular in America, but it was always a hard sell in Ireland...Read more

Cabinet signs-off on €178m Waterford Crystal pension deal
Irish Independent, December 9th

Waterford Glass and Crystal was the iconic industry in the South East. This double insolvency has been relatively rare. When the case was taken, it was in the context of Ireland being in breach of a directive in relation to insolvency," she said. "The...Read more

Crystal Clear: Waterford's problems need fixing…and fast
Irish Independent, November 11th

In its heyday the 3,500 employees of Waterford Glass, and its subsequent re-incarnations, were bringing home a relative fortune in wages. The money was spent locally giving life to local businesses. The streets were buzzing, the tills full and the pubs...Read more

Crystal is back at the cutting edge of style
Telegraph.co.uk, November 8th

And daring features strongly here – it was a hallmark of Miroslav Havel, the Czech “maestro” who is credited with reviving the Waterford glass industry, which had been dormant for a century when, in 1947, he was enticed to Ireland by promises of a land...Read more

Exploring Waterford's Viking Past
IrishCentral, July 13th

It carried a gift of Waterford glass which was presented to the Tsar in St. Petersburg. Vikings aside, it is this glass that has spread Waterford's name worldwide. Waterford Crystal was founded by brothers William and George Penrose in 1783. “They were ...Read more

European court rules in favour of Waterford Crystal workers in pension case
RTE.ie, April 24th

Unite Regional Secretary and former Waterford Glass employee Jimmy Kelly said it is a great day for former Waterford Crystal workers and for others who lost their pensions in similar situations. Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Pat Kenny, Mr Kelly said the ...Read more