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    

4 Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Lismore Pattern Old Fashioned Glasses RbmSet 7 Waterford Cut Irish Crystal Carina Pattern Champagne Flute Glasses Rvh NrSigned Waterford Crystal Alana Wine Liquor Alcohol Bar Barware Ship Decanter JesSigned Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Modernist 7" Floral Glass Vase Nr RvhWaterford Crystal Seahorse Vase 10" Nib Made Ireland 40010650 GorgeousGorgeous Waterford Cut Crystal Serving Bowl - Nice Cut PatternWaterford Crystal Alana Decanter & Stopper3pc Waterford Lismore Cut Crystal Art Drinking Wine Water Goblet Glasses CupsSet 12 Waterford Sheila Pattern Crystal Stemware, White Wine Glasses5 Waterford Crystal Alana Old Fashioned Glasses 3 1/4"Waterford Crystal Alana Water Goblets Glasses Set Of 5Waterford Crystal Harp*vintage* Waterford Crystal Colleen (1953-) Set 2 Water Goblets 5 1/8" 9 OzSet 4 Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Lismore Stemmed Iced Tea Glasses Waterford Crystal Lismore Biscuit Barrel, Lidded Jar, ExcellentRare Waterford Seahorse Centerpiece Bowl Classic Collection Made In Ireland MintWaterford Crystal Pair Of Master Cutter Candlesticks 7 1/2" InchesGorgeous 11" Waterford Cut Crystal Glass Flower Shelf Display Vase (2) Vintage Waterford Cut Crystal Lamps (nice Pair)Retired Waterford Crystal Dorset Fan Criss Cross Signed Glass Notepad Holder AlbSigned Waterford Cut Crystal Lismore Art Glass Bud Flower Shelf Mantle Vase AlbWaterford Crystal Book Of Kells 8.75" Hand-crafted Irish-cut Footed BowlWaterford Crystal Book Of Kells 8.75" Hand-crafted Irish-cut Footed Bowl*vintage* Waterford Crystal Powerscourt (1968-) 6 Liqueur Cordial 4 5/8" In Boxa*new* Waterford Crystal Lismore Diamond (2012-) Set 2 Beer Pilsner 8 3/8" NibWaterford Crystal Ring HolderWaterford Crystal Flute 12 Days Of Christmas 12th Edition Drummers Drumming BGorgeous Waterford Crystal Sea Shell Conch Paperweight SignedWaterford 10" Seahorse Crystal Bowl Nib Made In Ireland 40010651Waterford Crystal Heart PaperweightWaterford Lismore Irish Coffee Mugs Set/2 Crystal Glasses #108068 New In BoxSet 7 Waterford Cut Irish Crystal Carina Pattern Claret White Wine Glasses Rvh*new* Waterford Crystal Disney Snow White's Apple (1995) 3 1/2" In Box IrelandWaterford Crystal Set Of 8 Alana Highball Tumblers Glasses 5 5/8" InchesWaterford Snowflake Wishes Health 5th Edition New In BoxWaterford Crystal Letter OpenerWaterford Crystal Set Of 8 Alana Old Fashioned Glasses 3 3/8" InchesSet 4 Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Lismore Stemmed Iced Tea Glasses Set 4 Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Lismore Stemmed Iced Tea Glasses Waterford Crystal Chrismas Tree Topper With BoxWaterford 'lismore' Irish Coffee Mugs Set/2 Crystal Glasses #108068 *new In Box*Signed Waterford Irish Crystal Lismore Bath Collection Soap Dish HolderWaterford Crystal Ennis Set Of Four 8 Oz Wedge & Diamond Cut Goblets-damaged BoxWaterford Crystal Lismore Bisquit Candy Cookie Jar With LidWaterford Crystal Lismore 8 Oz Balloon Wine Glass (new Damaged Box)Waterford Crystal Tara Set Of Two 10" Diamond Candlesticks (new Damaged Box)Waterford Crystal 7" Ocean Blue Seahorse Figurine New In Original Box 40023503Lot Of 2 Waterford Cut Crystal Mini Miniature Carriage Clock And Desk Pen SetWaterford Crystal Oval Napkin Rings Set Of 4Waterford Ireland Crystal Lismore 3pc Set Champagne Flutes GlassClare & Kells Waterford Crosses--retail Total $385Waterford Crystal Double Old Fashioned Tumbler Glasses Congratulations In BoxWaterford Lismore Iced Tea Glasses (2) Signed Mint NrWaterford Crystal Flute 12 Days Of Christmas 12th Edition Drummers DrummingSigned Waterford Irish Crystal World Globe Paperweight W Original Wood Base RbmWaterford Cut Crystal 5" Football Paperweight - Made In IrelandWaterford Crystal Lismore 8 Oz Balloon Wine Glass (new Damaged Box)Vintage Waterford Large 10" Rollover Turnover Bowl Made In Ireland Marquis Waterford Crystal "little Town Of Bethlehem" Nativity Backdrop - Iob*vintage* Waterford Crystal Wine Carafe Tripple (3)ring Neck 8 1/4" Ireland Box