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 6 Waterford Crystal Templemore Or Alana Flat Tumblers Old-fashioned GlassesSet 6 Signed Waterford Crystal Lismore 1957 Deep Cut Glass Wine Hock Goblets NrSet 9 Sparkling Waterford Crystal Templemore Water Goblet Stems GlassesLarge Signed Waterford Crystal Glengarriff 1973 Deep Cut Art Glass Cabinet Vase Waterford Crystal Decanter "colleen" Pattern With Faucet Cut StopperSigned Waterford Crystal Overture 1998 Deep Cut Glass Alcohol Liquor Decanter NrBeautiful Waterford Lismore Roly Poly Liquor Decanter & StopperWaterford Crystal Ship Decanter Lismore ? Alana ? - No ReserveBeautiful Waterford Cut Crystal Bobeche 8 Prism Holder W/8 Waterford PrismsWaterford Lismore 6" Cut Crystal Rose Bowl VaseBeautiful Waterford Cut Crystal Bobeche 8 Prism Holder W/5 Waterford PrismsWaterford Crystal Lismore 10oz. Goblets - Set Of 8 - Beautiful Condition!Signed Waterford Crystal Ships Decanter & Stopper 10" Tall - No BoxA 2009 Cased Glass Waterford Cut Crystal Ball Ornament! Signed Waterford Irish Cut Crystal Lismore Pattern 6 Sherbet Glasses Nr SmsWaterford Nocturne Square Decanter Excellent ConditionPair Waterford Crystal Lismore Pattern Footed Salt & Pepper Shakers2 Vintage Waterford Crystal "lismore" 5 1/4" 12 Oz. Brandy Glasses SniftersVintage Waterford Christmas Ornament Collection - No Rsv 23 Pc Lot 1978 - 20004 Waterford Crystal Colleen Pattern Water GobletsMint 1982 Waterford Partridge In A Pear Tree Christmas Ornament W Box - No RsvSet 5 Sparkling Waterford Crystal Ashling Claret Wine Stems GlassesWaterford Crystal "comeragh" 10-1/2" Tree TopperBeautiful Waterford Glandore Cocktail Shaker W/ StopperLarge Waterford Crystal Glass/brass Lamp 24" Ireland W/original Box-ex! Nr!Waterford Crystal Tree TopperWaterford Lismore Square Crystal 6" Serving BowlWaterford Crystal Preserves Jar W/ Lid, Alana?Marquis By Waterford 3 Piece Crystal Nativity Animals RareWaterford Crystal Pie Cake Carver Slicer Server In Original BoxWaterford Crystal 7th Ed 12 Days Of Christmas 7 Swans Champagne Flute W/charmWaterford Lismore Six Sherry Stems Excellent ConditionWaterford Crystal Icicle Ornament In Original Red BoxWaterford Crystal Christmas Ornament 1982 Twelve Days Of ChristmasBeautiful Tall Waterford Tramore Decanter & StopperPair Of 2 Waterford Crystal Lismore Brandy Snifters #1 - Beautiful ConditionVtg Waterford Crystal Lismore Pattern Wine Decanter Used In Good ConditionLot Of 12 Waterford Colleen Crystal Tumbler GlassesVintage Crystal Ringholder, Waterford, Lismore Round Cut Glass Ring Stand(2) Vintage Rare Waterford "alana" Crystal Shot Glasses* Superb Waterford Crystal Master Cutter Claret Prestige Footed Glass DecanterWaterford Crystal Clarion Shot Glasses Set Of 6 Shot GlassWaterford Crystal *lismore* Biscuit BarrelSet Of 4 Waterford Colleen Crystal Wine / Juice Glasses 4-3/8" (set #2)Waterford #104820 Crystal Steam Ship (titanic) (cruise Ship)Waterford Crystal Sea Jewel Candlesticks Candle Holders - Brand New - Pair Nice!Waterford Crystal Rare Cobalt Blue Red Ball Ornament Beautiful Mint In Box2002 Waterford Crystal Signed Palm Tree Design Christmas BallWaterford Brixton Crystal Candlestick Pair NewWaterford Lismore Six Cordials Excellent ConditionWaterford 40005439 Crystal Angel Ornament 4" NewWaterford Crystal Prisms Set Of Twelve (12) Flat Back All Signed WaterfordSet Of 4 Waterford Colleen Crystal Water Goblets 5 1/4" W/ Box (set #2)Waterford Crystal Rare Ruby Red Cased Ball Ornament Beautiful Mint In BoxWaterford Lismore Six Champagne Sherbets Excellent ConditionWaterford Crystal Christmas Tree (new In Box)Signed Waterford Heavy Cut Crystal Lismore ? Vase - No ReserveWaterford Glandore Cut Crystal 9-1/2" Celery Relish DishWaterford Crystal Times Square Collection Star Of Hope Design Ornament(2) Waterford Crystal Grainne 12 Oz. Rocks Double Old Fashioned Tumbler Glasses

Recent News: Waterford Glass

Source: Google News

Inequality breeds contempt
Irish Examiner, December 17th

That is particularly so when you consider that ordinary workers have to fight tooth and nail to even get their proper pensions or you consider that the Waterford Glass workers had to tramp to the courts for a decade almost to get their dues. The reason...Read more

Aer Lingus shareholders back pension proposal at EGM
RTE.ie, December 10th

Aer Lingus has gained shareholder approval for its proposed €190.7m contribution to its pension scheme, which has an estimated €750m deficit. A large majority of voters at the airline's Extraordinary General Meeting supported the plan, which came about ...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

What's available in the salerooms over the next week
Irish Independent, November 27th

Victorian gilt over mantel, fully fitted period dolls house, art deco wardrobe and matching bed, oriental carpet squares and runners, Georgian mahogany 8ft serving table, leaded-glass hall lantern, jewellery, china, Waterford glass, paintings and...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

Waterford Crystal Ball to support Torbay Crohns and Colitis group
Torquay Herald Express, October 21st

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. “Crohns and Colitis affects over 1,700 people in ...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