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    

Set 6 Old Waterford Glass 10 Oz. Flat Tumblers In "maeve" Pattern / TramoreNew In Box Waterford Crystal Cut Glass Lismore Cake Plate 12" Diameter Eight Waterford 9 Oz Crystal Lismore Old Fashioned Tumblers/glasses 136673 YqzLarge Waterford Millennium Series Butterfly Heart Crystal Champagne Bucket LoeBeautiful Waterford Crystal Lismore Vanity Tray - 11" X 5.5" - No ReserveSigned Waterford Irish Cut Crystal Colleen Biscuit Cookie Barrel Jar W/ Lid LoeVintage Waterford Lismore Pattern Lead Crystal Biscuit Candy Jar Barrel SignedSet Of 12 Waterford Lead Crystal Kildare 6 1/2" Claret Wine Glasses Plain BaseFour Gorgeous Old Waterford Crystal Wine Glasses.(6) Waterford Lismore Crystal 12oz. Flat Tumbler Glasses(6) Waterford Lismore Crystal 9 Oz. Old Fashioned Glasses(6) Waterford Lismore Crystal Water Goblet GlassesWaterford Lismore Wine Water Goblet Glasses Cobalt Blue Crystal Set Of 3Set 5 Old Waterford Claret Wine Glasses In "colleen" PatternBeautiful Set Of 2 Waterford Lismore Cut Crystal Tall Water Goblets - StemwarePair Vtg Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Lismore Art Glass Candleholders Nr LoeWaterford Crystal Millennium 5 Toasts Champagne Bucket**** No Reserve!Pr Vtg Waterford Irish Cut Crystal Lismore Footed Salt Pepper S&p Shakers Loe NrWaterford Crystal Pair Of 2.5" Votive HoldersWaterford Crystal Powerscourt 12 Arm Chandelier3 Vintage Waterford Cut Crystal Lismore Old Fashioned 3-1/2” From IrelandWaterford Crystal Lismore 10 Inch Bowl Anniversary Limited Edition BowlWaterford Millennium Collection Champagne Wine Bottle Crystal Coaster HolderSet Of 12 Waterford Lead Crystal Kildare 5 1/4" Champagne / Tall Sherbet GlassesProsperity 2 Waterford Cut Glass Crystal Toasting Goblets Millenium Collection(4) Waterford Crystal Steak Knives W/ BoxOld Waterford Creamer & Castlemaine Mustard / Condiment JarSigned Waterford Irish Cut Crystal Lismore Scalloped Centerpiece Fruit Bowl LoeSet Of 7 Waterford Lead Crystal Kildare 7" Water Goblets Plain Base ExcWaterford Disney Mickey Mouse Champagne FluteWaterford Treasured Footed BowlWaterford Crystal Kelley 6.75" Wedge & Diamond Cut Biscuit BarrelVtg Waterford Cut Crystal Cashel Clear Art Glass Creamer & Open Sugar Bowl Loe12” Large Waterford Cut Crystal Pineapple Vase Made In Ireland Seahorse Mark Nr!10" Waterford Lismore Crystal Footed Scalloped Centerpiece Bowl Numbered 507Waterford Lismore Crystal Roly Poly Liquor Decanter And StopperSigned Waterford Cut Irish Crystal Adare Pattern 4.5" Footed Glass Bowl Nr LoeSet 10 Old Waterford Flared Water / Wine Glasses In "eileen" PatternWaterford Crystal Ball 6" X 6"" Votive Candle Holder(6) Waterford Lismore Crystal Claret Wine GlassesHappiness 2 Waterford Cut Glass Crystal Toasting Goblets Millenium CollectionWaterford Cut Crystal Wat10 Liquor Whiskey Decanter W/stopper No Reserve Price!Love Pair Waterford Cut Glass Crystal Toasting Goblets Millenium Collection NibWaterford Crystal O’connell 10" Star Cut Square TrayWaterford Crystal Glass Lismore Footed Mustard Condiment Jar Signed On BottomWaterford Crystal 5" Rosette & Wedge Cut Footed Variety BowlWaterford Crystal BowlWaterford Crystal Lismore Pilsner Tall Beverage Glasses Excellent Condition Waterford, Lismore, Shot Glasses, Set Of Two (2)Waterford Lismore Roly Poly Pair Of 9 Oz. Tumblers 3 3/8" Tall Marked WaterfordWaterford Crystal Make-up Brush ** New With Original Gift Box **Lot Of 2 Waterford Crystal Maeve Water Goblets ~ 6 7/8" ~ Lot A4 Waterford Crystal Maeve Champagne Glasses ~ 4 5/8" ~ Lot A3 Waterford Crystal Maeve Champagne Glasses ~ 4 5/8" ~Pair Of Waterford Crystal Toothpick Holders, Signed! No Damage!Waterford Fluted Champagne Snowflake Crystal Glasses Discontinued 2003(5) Waterford Crystal Lismore Glasses - Cordial, Iced Tea, Champagne, WaterLarge Waterford Crystal 8.75" Round Serving BowlWaterford Crystal Champagne FlutesNew Waterford Lismore Cut Crystal Wine Stem Goblets Nib

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

Dan Gordon's new Frank Carson play is a cracker
Belfast Telegraph, June 15th

"One of my favourites is about him handing a Waterford glass decanter to the Pope, who gave him an audience lasting 17 minutes while US President Ronald Reagan only got 11 minutes. "The decanter is said to have had 'Stolen from Frank Carson' ...Read more

Quilts are comfy pieces of folk art
azcentral.com, May 26th

A: Waterford glass was first made in Waterford, Ireland, in 1729. Your set was produced by a more modern company, Waterford Glass Ltd., which began production in 1951. Pieces of Waterford pop up at antiques malls and shops in Phoenix occasionally but ...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

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

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