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.

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Waterford Crystal Set Of 12 Lismore Pattern Claret Wine GlassesSet Of 8 Waterford Crystal Highball Glasses, Lismore, Tumblers, No Reserve !!!Pr Signed Waterford Crystal Lismore 1957 7 1/2" Art Glass 6 Oz Wine Hock GobletsSet Of Six Waterford Crystal "maeve" 4 7/8" Flat Tumbler Glasses Tramore/baltrayWaterford Crystal Set Of 6 Lismore Pattern Champagne Flutes GlassesWaterford Crystal Clare 9.5" Standing CrossSigned Waterford Crystal Decanter About 11 Inches High, More With Tall Stopper.Signed Waterford Crystal Original Nativity Lamb Sheep No BoxHouse Of Waterford Irish Rainbow 10" Engraved Crystal Footed Trifle Bowl SignedWaterford Crystal Seahorse 10" Footed Bowl 6" High In Box Made In Ireland NrWaterford Crystal Large Corset Vase 9" Adare / Alana Criss Cross Diamond & StarsWaterford Crystal Set Of 6 Lismore Pattern Water Goblets GlassesWaterford Lismore Candlestick Candle Holders Pair 10-inch Crystal #136680 New!Pr Signed Waterford Crystal Lismore 12 Oz 5 1/8" Art Glass Brandy Snifter GobletLarge Waterford Cut Glass Center BowlSet Of Six Authentic Waterford Lismore Champagne Flutes In BoxWaterford Crystal Disney Tinkerbell Figurine Limited Edition Nib Coa 177/750Beautiful Waterford Town & Country Fine Flatware Collection 47 Pc Set New In BoxGorgeous Large Waterford Cut Crystal Centerpiece Bowl - Lovely PatternWaterford Crystal Lismore Roly Poly Tumblers Old Fashioned Glasses Set Of 4Waterford Crystal "lismore" Set Of 2 8" Salt And Pepper ShakersWaterford Crystal Powder / Candy Bowl Made In Ireland, Vintage, Original Box! Signed Waterford Crystal 10" Large Pineapple Hospitality Vase Seahorse MarkWaterford Clear Crystal " Lillian " 9" Tall Vase Unused Mib Large 10.5 "waterford Crystal Lismore Pattern Letter Opener In Box Irish MadeWaterford Crystal Candle Sticks Candle Holder (set Of 2)Authentic Waterford Clear Cut Crystal Conch / Sea Shell Paperweight SculptureWaterford Crystal Lismore Fluted Cake Plate *new*Large Waterford Crystal Seahorse FigurineWaterford Decanter 8 Inches6 Vintage Waterford Crystal Lismore Shot Glass 2 1/2" H - With Original BoxWaterford 2005 Ruby Red Cut To Clear Crystal Winter Wonderland Ball Ornament New(2) Waterford Crystal Lismore Irish Coffee Mugs / Glasses - Nib6 Waterford Crystal Kenmare 6" Wine GobletsWaterford Crystal Lismore 7.5" Decanter & 3.25" High Ball Tumbler Glass NrWaterford Lismore Claret Glasses Set Of Four(4) 6003180600 NibWaterford Crystal Iced Tea Glass - LismoreSuperb 4" Waterford Glandore Cut Crystal Rose Bowl In Excellent ConditionWaterford Crystal Lismore Old Fashion Glasses 8oz.--3 1/4" Tall - Set Of 2Waterford Crystal Vintage Diamond Clock 'lismore' Pattern Excellent Condition Vtg Waterford Crystal Glengarriff Elegant 6" Tall Pedestal Salt & Pepper ShakersWaterford Lead Crystal Standing Cross 5 1/2"Marquis By Waterford Vintage Jewel 4-piece Stemless Glass SetMarquis By Waterford 9.75" Crystal Holiday SleighWaterford Crystal Pair Of Ginger Jar Shaped Lamps With Original Shades & FinialsWaterford Crystal Lismore 4 Brandy Snifters Cognac Glasses & Roly Poly DecanterWaterford Annual Amethyst Cased Ball Christmas Ornament ~ Guc Retains StickerWaterford Disney Crystal Mickey Mouse Sorcerer Limited Edition Box & Coa12- Waterford Crystal Lismore 3 1/2" Tall Cordials Liqueur Shot Glasses IrelandLovely Waterford Crystal Angled Rectangular Serving Dish Tray, Unusual DesignWaterford Crystal Lismore DecanterWaterford Square Crystal Whiskey Bourbon Decanter Exc!Waterford Irish Crystal Cut Glass Westminster Abbey Shelf Clock Nice Vintage Waterford Crystal Colleen Decanter - No Reserve Cw1 Waterford Crystal Lidded Barrel Cookie Biscuit Jar CanisterWaterford Crystal Small Letter Opener Made In IrelandWaterford Crystal Glandore Salt And Pepper Shaker Set 3 3/4" Height NiceBeautiful Waterford Cut Crystal Footed Bowl - Lovely DesignGorgeous Waterford Cut Crystal Water Pitcher - Desirable PatternWaterford Crystal Disneyana Sleeping Beauty Tiara #1373 Of 1,500 Mint In Box

Recent News: Waterford Glass

Source: Google News

Waterford Crystal workers to receive €182m compensation over pensions, July 31st

Waterford Crystal workers are to receive €182m in compensation for losses to their pension scheme after the company and its pension scheme went into insolvency. The High Court formally approved the closing of the Waterford Crystal pension case and ...Read more

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

Waterford Wedgwood sold to Finnish heritage brand, 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

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

'Don't it always seem to go. That you don't know what you've got. Till it's gone…" sang Joni Mitchell back in 1970. Too true. I'm thinking about Waterford Crystal. Massively popular in America, but it was always a hard sell in Ireland...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, 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, 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