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 8 Waterford Irish Crystal Araglin Pattern Fluted Champagne Glass Goblets FrbHuge Lot Of Waterford Crystal 20 Assorted Pieces Lismore + Mint/nm B563Set 6 Waterford Cut Crystal Lismore Art Glass 7 1/2" Wine Hock Balloon Goblets Waterford "millennium" Toasting Flutes Complete SetWaterford Crystal Toasting Mickey Mouse Disney 9 1/4" Champagne Flutes -excWaterford Araglin Crystal Wine 7 7/8 Set Of 8 MintWaterford Lismore Vintage Water Goblets Set Of 12 Glasses 6-7/8" ExcellentSet Of 12 Waterford Kelsey Lead Crystal Wine Glasses 7 5/8" TallWaterford Crystal Glandore Punch Cups - Vintage Set Of 12 - Excellent Condition!Pair Of Waterford Crystal Hurricane Lamps Signed Set 4 Waterford Cut Crystal Lismore 7" Martini Art Glass Goblet Stemware Waterford Crystal Decanter 2 Glasses And Ashtray SetWaterford Crystal Lismore 12 Oz Double Old Fashioned Tumblers Vintage Set Of 6Set Of 12 Waterford Kelsey Crystal Water Iced Beverage Glasses 7 7/8" Tall Waterford-crystal-lismore-10-034-bowl-made-in-ireland-new Waterford-crystal-lisSigned Set 4 Waterford Cut Crystal Lismore Art Glass 6 1/2" Irish Coffee Mugs Nr8 Vintage Waterford Crystal Ireland Lismore Hock Balloon Wine Goblets Stems SetLarge Waterford Crystal Bowl Celtic Cross Cut Ireland Octagram 9 1/2" MarkedWaterford Wedding Heirloom Unity Candle SetSigned Waterford & Walt Disney Solid Crystal Mickey Mouse Hat Ears PaperweightWaterford Crystal Beer Tankards / Mugs / Glass Vintage Set Of 4 W/original BoxesWaterford Crystal Millennium 5 Toasts Champagen/ice BucketSet Of 8 Waterford Crystal Lismore Wine GobletsWaterford Crystal 12 Days Of Christmas Ornament 1982 - Partridge In A Pear TreeSigned Set 4 Waterford Cut Crystal Lismore 8 3/8" Beer Pilsner Drinking GlassesMint Signed Waterford Crystal Signed Lismore - 8 Oval Napkin Rings - Retired.(6) Waterford Crystal 9oz Kildare Tumblers Original Box Sticker Excellent SignedNib Waterford Heirloom Collection Crystal Wedding Picture Frame Signed Waterford Crystal Lismore Ships Decanter 10"Waterford Lismore Cut Crystal Goblet 6 7/8" Set Of 11Superb 33" Waterford Cut Crystal Giftware Electric Table Lamp In Mint ConditionSet 12 Wateford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Kenmare 8oz Water Goblet Glasses Nr FbrSigned Set 4 Waterford Cut Crystal Lismore Art Glass 6 1/2" Stemmed Iced Tea NrSet 4 Signed Waterford Crystal Lismore 12 Oz Double Old Fashioned Glasses W/ BoxWaterford Crystal Disney Mickey Mouse Ice BucketBeautiful Waterford Lismore Cut Crystal Ship Decanter With Stopper 10" HWaterford Crystal Lismore Water Goblets Vintage Signed Set Of 6 W/original Box8 Vintage Waterford Crystal Ireland Lismore Cut Tall Champagne Flutes GobletsSet Of 8 Marquis By Waterford "sparkle" 2011 Signed Art Glass Iced Tea Goblets Waterford Crystal Lismore DecanterWaterford Cut Glass Biscuit Jar Colleen Pattern Signed Original LidHuge Lot Of Waterford Crystal 16 Assorted Pieces Lismore + Mint/nm B557Set Of 4 Waterford Crystal Lismore Champagne Flutes Stemmed GlassesSet 12 Wateford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Kenmare Fluted Champagne Glasses Nr Fbr 5 Waterford Cut Crystal Colleen 4 3/4" Wine Goblets GlassesSet Of 3 Waterford Crystal Jasper Conran Strata Champagne Flute GobletsPair Of Waterford Crystal Celtic Cross 8" HighWaterford Crystal Cobalt Blue Cut Clear Clarendon Single Wine Hock Goblet New!2 Signed Waterford Irish Crystal Kildare Champagne Flutes/glassesWaterford Crystal Lady & Man Golfer W/golf Bag Paperweight Figurines 3-pc SetSet Of 4 Waterford Lismore 10 Oz Lead Crystal Goblets - Never Used8 Vintage Waterford Crystal Ireland Lismore Cut Glass Wine Goblets Set Of 88 Vintage Waterford Crystal Ireland Lismore 10oz Water Goblets Stems Set Of 8Three Waterford Crystal Water Goblets~~lismore Pattern~~7" TallSigned Set 4 Waterford Cut Crystal Lismore Roly Poly Old Fashioned Glass TumblerSet 4 Waterford Crystal Lismore Traditions Double Old Fashioned Glasses Nr AchWaterford Lismore Large Clock, 6 1/2 Seahorse Signature Hard To Find Waterford Signed 10" Vase3 Signed Waterford Crystal Tramore Champagne Flute Glasses Stemware 6-1/4"2 Waterford Crystal The Millennium Collection Peace Toasting Flutes In Box