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    

Waterford Crystal Alana 1952 Ships Style Decanter And 12 Vintage Wine GlassesSuper 15" Waterford Curraghmore Cut Crystal Decanter W/stopper In BoxWaterford Crystal Seahorse CandlesticksSuperb 10 1/2" Waterford Lismore Cut Crystal Ships Decanter W/stopper Excellent3 Waterford Colleen Crystal Stem Wine Goblets, Water Glasses, 5 1/4" 11 "colleen" Claret Wine Stems Waterford Crystal 5" TallWaterford Lismore Hock Glass Set Of 8 Made In Ireland All Mint Unused Nr*vintage* Waterford Crystal Lismore (1957-) 4 Double Old Fashion Dof 4 1/2" 14ozWaterford Crystal Seahorse Limited Edition Centerpiece Bowl Vase (brand New)New In Box Waterford Crystal Marquis Brookside Decanter & Two Glasses Gift SetWaterford Crystal Lismore 7 1/2 " Tall Balloon 12oz Wine Glasses Set Of 6A Pair Of Waterford Crystal Lismore Coasters, New In Box With Papers, No ReserveWaterford Marquis Sheridan Deep Cut Crystal Large Footed Bread Fruit Center BowlWaterford Crystal Millennium Series Peace Dof Double Old Fashioned Glasses NrWaterford Lismore Irish Crystal Oversize Balloon Wine Goblet Stem ~free ShippingWaterford Crystal - Heavy Apple Paper Weight - 3 " - Free ShippingWaterford Clear Crystal Decanter With Original Stopper (no Seahorse Logo)Vintage Waterford Lismore Champagne / Sherbet Glass(2) Two Waterford Lismore Old Fashioned Flat 3 3/8" 9 OzStunning Mib (8) Waterford Crystal Pieces - One Lot!Stunning Mib (10) Waterford Crystal Pieces - One Lot! Waterford Powerscourt Claret Goblets With Decanter Vintage Waterford Crystal Decanter & Glasses Alana Pattern Very Mad Men Set Of 8 Waterford Crystal Alana Glasses 5 7/8"Waterford Crystal Signed Limited Edition Snowflake Wishes Joy Ornament Box 2011Waterford Crystal Millennium Universal Wish Bowl 7" Mint,rare,nibWaterford Lismore Pilsner Glass Set Of 8 Made In Ireland All Mint Unused NrWaterford Crystal Cased Ruby Tree TopperWaterford Crystal Set Of 6 Stemmed 7.5" Wine Glasses, Lismore PatternWaterford Crystal Lismore 8" Tall Balloon Wine Glasses Set Of 2 16oz(2) Waterford Colleen Irish Cut Crystal Stem Brandy Snifter Goblets6 X Waterford Crystal Water Goblet 6 7/8"-lismore Pattern-excellent Condition!Waterford Crystal Balloon Brandy Snifter Goblet Set - 2pcWaterford Crystal Millenium Collection 5 Universal Toasting FlutesEuc Auth Waterford Large Wine Glasess In LismoreWaterford Crystal Nativity Camel Figurine (no Box) Waterford Lighting Evanwood Crystal Table LampWaterford Crystal Fork And Knife Rare Set Waterford Lismore Irish Crystal Oversize Balloon Wine Goblet Stem * Free ShipWaterford Crystal 2005 Chicago White Sox World Series Crystal Ball Boxed + CoaWaterford Lismore Cut Irish Crystal Balloon Wine Goblet Stem *free ShipNew Waterford Portraits Crystal Picture Frame 5 X 7 No Reserve Set Of 2 (pair) Waterford Crystal 5"h Candlesticks : Excellent!Waterford Crystal Lismore Perfume BottleWaterford Red To Clear RosebowlLismore Crystal Glass Container (middle) And Other Glass ContainersDisney Sleeping Beauty Tiara Waterford Crystal Limited Edition #373 Of 1500 NewWaterford Crystal Running HorseWaterford Crystal 12 Days Of Christmas Tree Ornament Lot~ Beautiful ~ 10 In LotWaterford Lismore Lot - 4pc Footed Straight Top Iced Tea GlassesWaterford Crystal Curraghmore High Ball, On The Rocks GlassWaterford Crystal Glass Biscuit Barrel Cookie Jar Never Used, BeautifulGorgeous Pair Waterford Crystal Millenium Love Series Heart Balloon Wine GobletsWaterford Roly Poly Decanter With Stopper-lismore Pattern-10 3/4"Waterford Crystal Hospitality Flutes Toasting Glass Pair - Pineapple CollectionWaterford Sea Horse Figurine Perfect Original Condition Made In Ireland NrWaterford Seahorse Bowl 12" Centerpiece Bowl Spectacular LargeWaterford Lismore Lot - 4pc 6 7/8" Water Glass Goblet Exc!Waterford Cordials Kildare 8 Pc.Waterford Seahorse Rose Bowl Pair 6" Made In Ireland Both Mint Unused Nr

Recent News: Waterford Glass

Source: Google News

J. Hill Standard to Debut Crystal Ware Collection
Wall Street Journal, August 7th

The debut collection from J. Hill's Standard. The company's name is derived from the story of John Hill, a crystal pioneer who joined the Waterford Glass House in 1783. Courtesy of J. Hill's Standard. When Anike Tyrrell set out in...Read more