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.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Pattern Glass School

Pattern Glass School

If you need schooling on Victorian-era pressed glass tableware aka EAPG (Early American Pattern Glass) aka Pattern … [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

2 Waterford Crystal "lismore" 12oz. Brandy Snifters / Glasses ~ Made In IrelandSet Of 6 Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Powerscourt 7.5" Wine Hock Glasses RarVtg Signed Waterford Crystal Mooncoin Cross Hatch Cut Pitcher Dunmore 32 Oz Yqz2 Waterford Crystal "lismore" 12oz. Dbl Old Fashioned Glasses ~ Made In Ireland2 Waterford Crystal "lismore" 9oz. Roly Poly Glasses ~ Made In IrelandSet Of 7 Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Powerscourt Old Fashioned Glasses RarPr Signed Waterford Crystal Lismore 12 Oz 5 1/8" Art Glass Brandy Snifter Goblet4 Waterford Crystal "lismore" 12oz. Brandy Snifters / Glasses ~ Made In Ireland2 Rare Waterford Crystal "maeve" 16oz. Beer Steins ~ Made In IrelandWaterford Crystal O’connell 10" Star Cut Square TrayVtg Set Of 6 Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Powerscourt Cordial Glasses Nr RarWaterford Crystal 12” Electric Hurricane Table Lamp Exc!Signed Waterford Crystal Lismore Biscuit Cracker Barrel Glass Lidded Cookie JarLarge Vtg Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal 12" Tall Centerpiece Flower Vase RarSigned Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Glandore Pattern Biscuit Cookie Jar CftNice Antique / Vintage Waterford Lismore Ships Style Crystal Decantor Pair Signed Waterford Cut Crystal "lismore" 1957 8oz Art Glass 7" Water GobletsWaterford Crystal DecanterWaterford Crystal Sherbet/champagne Glass- Colleen Cut No ReserveWaterford Crystal "lismore" 12oz. Brandy Snifters / Glasses ~ Made In Ireland #1Signed Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Ringed Neck Whisky Wine Decanter Nr RarWaterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Alana Pattern Wine Spirit Liquor Decanter Rar4 Waterford Crystal "lismore" 8oz. Wine Hock Glasses ~ Made In IrelandSet 5 Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Alana Pattern Old Fashioned Glasses RarWaterford Crystal "lismore" 12oz. Brandy Snifters / Glasses ~ Made In Ireland #2Waterford Crystal Marc Jacobs "robert" Small Bowl/new In BoxWaterford Crystal 5" Rosette & Wedge Cut Footed Variety BowlWaterford Crystal Goblets (4) - Colleen Cut, Flawless -no ReserveCrystal Ships Decanter Lismore PatternSet Of 2 Waterford Crystal Lismore Champagne Flutes Glasses 3.5" X 7.5"Waterford Crystal Condiment , Jam Jar W/ Lid, HoneypotSet Of 4 Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Kinsale Pattern Cordial Glasses Nr RarSet 5 Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Lismore Double Old Fashioned Glasses SccElegant Waterford Crystal Lismore Wine Glass 6 Oz Balloon Goblet 7 1/4" Tall ExcWaterford Crystal 2pc Pair Of Nut Dishes Or Salts, Exc. Cond.Waterford Crystal Camel Figurine ~ The Nativity Collection ~ Mint In BoxWaterford Crystal Donkey Figurine ~ The Nativity Collection ~ Mint In BoxWaterford Crystal 2pc.sheep Set Standing & Lying ~ The Nativity Collection ~ MibWaterford Lismore Crystal Glasses Stemmed Ice Tea Set Of 4 (#1431)Waterford Crystal Seahorse Set Of Two 6" CandlesticksWaterford Cut Crystal Lismore Ships Decanter 10 1/4" Heavy, Signed EcPr Waterford Crystal Millenium 2000 Series Love Toasting Art Glass Flutes W/ BoxPair/set Of (2) Waterford Lismore 6" Cut Glass Candlesticks W/orig Label~lot #5!Vintage Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Master Cutters Apprentice Bowl Nr RarWaterford Irish Crystal " Lismore " Cut Glass Biscuit Barrel Lidded Candy Jar 7"Vintage Waterford Lismore Footed Cake Or Cookie PlateSet Of (2) Waterford Maeve Pattern Wine Glasses 7.5" TallMarquis By Waterford Brixton 8" Crystal Diamond Cut Pillar Candlestick PairBeautiful Vintage Signed Waterford Crystal Knife Rest Ireland 3 1/2" Wide Nr YqzVintage Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Dunmore Coffee Beer Or Cider Mug Nr Rar2 Waterford Crystal "lismore" 8oz. Water Goblets ~ Made In Ireland1 Waterford Crystal Glass Whiskey Shot Glass Alana Comeragh Diamond2 Waterford Crystal "lismore" 5oz. Claret Wine Glasses ~ Made In Irelan5Set Of 4 Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Tramore Pattern Cordial Glasses Nr RarRare Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Eileen Pattern Footed Water Pitcher Nr SccPair Of 19" Waterford Crystal Inishmore Hurricane 2 Piece Lamps Mint! Working!Set Of 4 Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Lismore Brandy Snifter Glasses Nr SnsWaterford "kildare" Wine Glasses (8) - Flawless - No ReserveLot Of 3 Waterford Crystal Lismore Pattern Stemware - Water Wine Goblets GlassesWaterford Crystal Honeycomb Diamond Cut Two-piece Set Bowl And Vase

Recent News: Waterford Glass

Source: Google News

Sobering tale of life consumed by alcohol
Connacht Tribune Group, February 3rd

He travelled the country for work, spending periods in Limerick, Cork and Kerry, before ending up in Waterford, working on an extension at the Waterford Glass plant. During that time, he quit alcohol for three months, in sympathy with a colleague who...Read more

'From 2003, I noticed a very unpleasant total obsession with money in Ireland'
Irish Independent, January 30th

Basically, his money kept Waterford Glass afloat for four or five years more than it should have. "There are relatively few Irish people on the international stage of stature, so you have him, Peter Sutherland, Mary Robinson. I know he has helped all...Read more

On borrowed time: Ireland's deceptive debt numbers
Irish Independent, January 23rd

How much if any of these deficits will the State end up picking up the tab for courtesy of the 2013 Waterford Glass judgment? When seeking to estimate the extent of the possible liabilities to which the state is exposed, one is confronted by a...Read more

Burton defends record after no-confidence motion
RTE.ie, January 19th

She also told the Dáil he played a key role in ensuring the workers in Waterford Glass secured their incomes into the future. The Tánaiste criticised the Independent Alliance for moving the motion. She said she was proud to say that - together with...Read more

Jersey Reflections: First Rails
SNJ Today, January 11th

According to R. Craig Koedel in his book South Jersey Heritage, “At the southeastern end of Camden County, a cluster of glass furnaces was erected between 1822, when Jonathan Haines set up his Waterford Glass Works, and 1827, when a son of William ...Read more

Waterford Crystal workers to receive €182m compensation over pensions
RTE.ie, July 31st

Waterford Crystal workers are to receive €182m in compensation for losses to their pension scheme after the company and its pension scheme went into insolvency. The High Court formally approved the closing of the Waterford Crystal pension case and ...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

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