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    

19" Waterford Crystal Centerpiece Vase-bunratty Castle-signed Brophy-#1of10-mintWaterford Cut Crystal Set Of 8 Lismore Hock Balloon Wine GlassesWaterford Crystal Maeve 18 Glasses Wine, Water, ChampagneWaterford Stemware, Lismore Flutes - Set Of 4A Waterford Crystal Blue Egg PaperweightSet Of 6 Vintage Waterford Crystal Lismore 12 Ounce, 5" Highball Flat Tumblers6" Waterford Crystal Glass Lot Set Of 6 Lismore Water Wine Stemware N825 QoWaterford Lismore 5-1/8" Large Crystal Brandy/cognac Snifter Goblet Lot Of 7Waterford Crystal Gorgeous "lismore" Ships Decanter 495$ Retail...Waterford Cut Crystal Set Of 5 Lismore Whiskey Old Fashion GlassesWaterford Crystal Glass Hurricane Candle Lamp Alana Votive Two Piece N829 QoLismore Waterford 6 Vintage Tumblers (40+ Years Old)4 Waterford Balloon Wine Glasses Lismore Old Mark Long Stem Glass LotNew / Mint Waterford Large Crystal Glass 60oz Lismore Water Pitcher Jug 8 1/2"4 Waterford Balloon Water Glasses Lismore Old Mark Glass Lot Set Of 4Waterford Lismore Crystal 32 Oz Ice Lip Jug Pitcher Criss Cross Vertical Cuts NrWaterford Crystal Lismore Brandy Snifter -set Of 4Waterford Lismore 8 Inch Crystal Candlesticks PairWaterford Crystal Lismore Double Old Fashioned Glass Signed J.p.hayesA Waterford Crystal Annual EggWaterford Crystal Lismore Footed 14oz Iced Tea Glasses-mint-1 PairWaterford Clear Crystal Glass Lot Set Of 6 Lismore Water Glasses Goblets N821 QoWaterford Crystal Killarney 9.5" Footed Centerpiece Bowl / Dish SignedWaterford Crystal Lismore Square Vase, 8", Iob Set Of 5 Waterford Crystal Lismore 5 7/8" Water / Claret Wine Glasses / GobletsWaterford Cut Crystal Set Of 8 Lismore Claret Wine GlassesSet Of 4 Waterford Crystal Lismore 6 7/8" Water / Wine Goblets / GlassesWaterford Cut Crystal Set Of 3 Carina Hock Balloon Wine GlassesWaterford Cut Crystal Colleen Lidded Biscuit Barrel JarWaterford Millennium "love" Crystal Champagne Flutes Pair ~ Nib No ReserveWaterford Crystal Brandy Snifters, Lismore Set Of TwoPerfect Waterford 11" Tall Fine Irish Crystal Liquor Decanter W/ Stopper - AlanaWaterford Alana Pair Of Brandy SniftersVintage Waterford Crystal Mantle Clock 7" Long Works Nice *no Reserve*Waterford Stemware, Lucerne Flutes, Set Of 3 - 0320m2-pc Waterford Cut Lismore Crystal Salt & Pepper Shakers (s)Waterford Crystal Compote/candy DishWaterford Lismore Irish Coffee Set Of 24 Waterford Crystal Lismore 5 Oz. Flat TumblersWaterford Crystal Lismore Biscuit Jar W/lid - NibWaterford Stemware, Colleen Encore Goblet - Set Of 3 - 0321m6" Waterford Crystal Glass Lot Set Of 6 Lismore Water Wine Stemware N824 QoLot 2 Waterford Cut Crystal Glass Pair 4" Posy Vase Set Lismore Pattern MintWaterford 6th Edition 12 Days Of Christmas Champagne Flute, Set Of 2 - 0322mGorgeous New In Box Waterford Cut Crystal Cream Pitcher & Sugar Bowl - LismoreWaterford Crystal Heritage Apprentice Bowl 8" Georgian Period Inspired Hand CutWaterford Cut Crystal 12" Diameter Cake PlateLot 2 Waterford Cut Crystal Glass Alana Pattern Oval Napkin Rings Pair W/stickerWaterford Crystal Large Table Lamp 17" Tall -worksWaterford Crystal 3-piece Nativity SetWaterford Crystal Salt & Pepper Set Lismore Pattern In Original BoxWaterford Seahorse Goblet, 9 Oz, Set Of 2 - 0320mWaterford Stemware, Lismore Goblet, Set Of 3 - 0321mWaterford Crystal Fleurology 14.5" Pink Glass Long Stemmed RoseWaterford Crystal Clarendon Martini Cobalt Blue Crystal Glasses (pair) NewWaterford Crystal 4 Lismore Double Old Fashioned Tumblers Vintage ExcellentWaterford Wishes For Joy Flute, Premiere Edition, Set Of 8 - 0320mWaterford Book Of Kells 8.5" Crystal Vase Flower Champagne Wine Nib ~ No ReserveWaterford Crystal 1 Pair Of Lismore Toasting Flute GlassesWaterford Clear Crystal Glass Lot Set Of 6 Lismore Water Glasses Goblets N820 Qo

Recent News: Waterford Glass

Source: Google News

MOVIE REVIEW: Danny Collins
Culver City Observer, March 26th

He's got money in the bank, cocaine up his nose, 100 year old Scotch in a Waterford glass, a 20 year old "fantastic plastic" money grubber on his arm and a "glass house" exposing all for the world to see. And he's miserable. Sick of it all. And then...Read more

Original print value is catch-as-catch-can
Ocala, March 21st

Q: I appreciated the opportunity to speak with you on the radio show. Enclosed please find photographs of the two items I inquired about. The first is a print behind glass, which I had thought I heard you discussing with another caller some weeks before...Read more

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

And dating Waterford glass is especially difficult because there were two factories in the city, 100 years apart. Like so many successful Irish industries, glassmaking in Waterford began as an 18th century cross border tax dodge. From 1777 a series of...Read more

Long-serving musical great mourned by Bradford Catholic Players
Bradford Telegraph and Argus, March 1st

He directed many shows at the Bradford Alhambra, finally retiring in 1994 when the Catholic Players presented him with a specially-commissioned Waterford glass copy of a page of the score of 42nd Street, his last show with the society. He continued to...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 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