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    

Large Signed Waterford Irish Cut Crystal Achill Table Lamp W Glass Shade Nr Clp23 Vintage Waterford Crystal Christmas Ornaments Bells Trees Santa Icicle +++Signed Waterford Irish Cut Crystal Archive Liquor Spirit Decanter Nr ClpGorgeous Set 12 Waterford Cut Crystal Napkin Rings €Pair Of Waterford Crystal Colleen 10" Candlesticks No ReserveSet 12 Waterford Lismore Crystal 6-7/8" Water Goblet Stems GlassesAuthentic Waterford Inishmann Cut Crystal Glass Hurricane Table Lamp, NrWaterford Crystal - Beautiful Nativity Angel- Excellent!Waterford 2pc Lead Crystal Bride & Groom Figurine & Gavel SetSigned Waterford Irish Cut Crystal Lismore Pattern Brandy Liquor Decanter ClpSigned Waterford Irish Cut Crystal Branford Pattern Liquor Spirit Decanter Clp4 Excellent Waterford Crystal Colleen Double Old Fashioned 4 3/8" 12 Oz GlassesSet 12 Waterford Lismore Crystal 5-3/4" Claret Wine StemsExquisite Waterford Crystal Pair Of Art Deco Inspired Cube Candlesticks - Rg M18Set 12 Waterford Lismore Crystal 7-1/4" Fluted Champagne Stems6 Waterford Crystal Ireland Lismore Cut Glass Footed Dessert Bowls & Liners SetWaterford Millennium Crystal Large Vase Toast To Year 2000 14" No Reserve SignedSigned Waterford Irish Cut Crystal Set Of 4 Lismore Pattern Tumbler Glasses Clp4 Excellent Waterford Crystal Colleen 3 1/2" Old Fashioned 9 Oz GlassesSigned Waterford Irish Cut Crystal Lismore Pattern Liquor Decanter Nr ClpVintage Waterford Crystal Ireland Lge Pedestall Footed Bowl Heritage CollectionSigned Waterford Irish Crystal 10" Archive Centerpiece Bowl Special Issue Clp Pair Of Waterford Signed Crystal/brass Base Boudoir Lamp Free Ship Made IrelandVintage Waterford Irish Crystal Lamp Two Piece 110v Lamp Signed WaterfordWaterford Crystal Small Table Lamp With Shade4 Waterford Crystal Colleen Pattern Water GobletsPr Signed Waterford Crystal Lismore 7" Balloon 10oz Wine Goblets W Original BoxWaterford Grafton Street Bolton Tall Crystal Canister With Lid Signed O'donnelWaterford Lismore Champagne Flute Crystal Lot 4Waterford Crystal Prosperity Toasting Flute (pair) The Millenium Collection WboxWaterford Crystal 7" Set Of 4 Lismore Goblets, Glasses4 Waterford Crystal Colleen Pattern Fluted ChampagnesLot Of Waterford Crystal Paperweights Bird Duck Figurines Ornaments Bookends7-piece Waterford Lismore Beverage Set W/ Decanter & 6 Sherry GlassesWaterford Crystal Alligator Paperweight Figurine W/boxSet Of 8 Vintage Waterford Crystal Classic Lismore Wine GlassesWaterford Crystal 4 Martini Glasses Lismore PatternLot Of 6 Waterford Crystal Clarendon Cobalt Cordial GlassesWaterford - 12 Days Of Christmas Champagne Flute - 11th Ed - Pipers Piping - Nib4 Waterford Crystal "lismore" 5oz. Champagne Flutes ~ Made In IrelandSet Of 4 Excellent Waterford Crystal Colleen 5 1/4" Water Goblets 8 Oz GlassesWaterford Crystal 5 3/4" Set Of 4 Lismore Wine, Claret GlassesSet Of 4 Waterford Lismore Hock Balloon Wine Goblets 7.5"Waterford Glass Clarendon Ruby Red Ornament Mib W/ PapersWaterford Crystal 12 Days Of Christmas 8 Ornaments No BoxesSigned Waterford Irish Cut Crystal Penrose Pattern 8.5" Flower Vase Nr ClpWaterford 2014 Annual Snowstar Ornament Brand Nib #164570 Christmas Crystal F/shWaterford Crystal Set Of 3 Vintage Water Wine Glasses Colleen Excellent Gift HotMarquis By Waterford Crystal Brookside Iced Beverage Set Of 4 - Free Shipping!!Marquis For Waterford 2009 Snowflake Lead Crystal, Christmas OrnamentWaterford Millennium Crystal Decanter Toast To The Year 2000Set Of 6 Signed Waterford Crystal Powerscourt 7-1/8" Claret Wine GlassesWaterford Crystal Christmas Tree Topper With BoxWaterford Millennium Toast To The Year 2000 Ice Bucket No Box No ReserveSigned Irish Waterford Cut Crystal Table Lamp - WorksWaterford Crystal Sullivan 13" Bowl Wedge & Diamond Cut New 2ndVintage Waterford 13" Centerpiece Footed Crystal Bowl Excellent Condition.Waterford Millennium Champagne Wine Bucket Toast To The Year 2000 No ReserveLismore Waterford Crystal Decanter Signed 11" No Reserve !Waterford Crystal Clarion Shot Glass 3" 1 Oz Set Of 6 New In Box Excellent

Recent News: Waterford Glass

Source: Google News

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, 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

In the salerooms
Irish Independent, November 6th

Also included is a pair of Georgian lamp tables, large canteen kings pattern cutlery, Victorian oil lamp, Edwardian inlaid wardrobe, c19 carved oak cabinets and tables, Black & Tan medal, selection of rare old adverts, Waterford glass, and engravings...Read more

Annual Torquay ball will help fight disease
Torquay Herald Express, November 2nd

The ball has been organised by Tarasa Van Martin, the owner of the Waterford Glass Centre in St Marychurch, Torquay. She said: "Every year we try to support a local charity who deserve more recognition. "Crohn's and Colitis affects more than 1,700...Read more

Memorial unveiled at 300-year-old Quaker Burial ground in Waterford City
Waterford Today, September 3rd

a brewery in in the City in 1772; Jacob who was the name behind Jacob's Cream Crackers, whose direct descendants were to establish firms in shipbuilding and biscuit making in Waterford and Penrose who founded the Waterford glass works in 1783...Read more

Quaker memorial site to be unveiled in Waterford
Irish Times, August 28th

Other prominent Quaker families included the Strangmans, who set up a brewery in the city in 1722, and the Penroses who founded the Waterford glass works in 1783. The Quaker legacy continues today with Newtown School which was built on the ancestral ...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, 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