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    

Vtg Signed Waterford Irish Cut Crystal Master Cutter Footed Glass 10" Vase SmsWaterford Crystal Heritage Seahorse 12.25" Sculpted Pedestal Bowl Signed NewHouse Of Waterford Anniversary 10" Crystal Diamond Footed Bowl Signed Clear NewL@@k Set Of 2 Waterford 8 3/4" Lismore Pattern Crystal Table Lamps Pair TestedLot Of 6 Vintage Waterford Lismore Classic Crystal Goblet Glasses 10oz 5oz NrHouse Of Waterford St. Pauls Tower 10" Bowl Signed By Jim O'leary Unsigned NewHouse Of Waterford Melissa Crystal Diamond & Fan Cut Flared Vase NewWaterford Crystal Art Deco Lidded Biscuit JarRare Waterford Museum Collection Covered Urn Vase Le100Waterford Crystal Mia 11" Diamond Cut Square Vase Clear NewWaterford Crystal Lismore 6" Candlestick Pair - 107633 (s04014400)Waterford Crystal Lismore Tall Footed Perfume Bottle Clear NewSet 8 Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Slane Balloon Wine Hock Glasses Stems SmsSet Of 4 Waterford Crystal Claret Wine/water Glasses Maeve Tramore VintageWaterford Crystal Anchill LampSet 8 Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Powerscourt Water Goblet Glasses Nr SmsHouse Of Waterford Three Wise Men 10" Copper Wheel Engrave Crystal Oval Vase NewWaterford Crystal Irish Treasures 10.5" Diamond Cut Footed Bowl - Signed(4) Vintage Waterford Crystal Colleen Footed Desserts, 3", ExcellentWaterford Art Deco Crystal Open Compote BowlWaterford CrystalSet Of 5 Waterford Crystal Tramore Maeve Baltray 5 " Water GlassesWaterford Crystal Large Standing Holy Cross FigurineWaterford Crystal Lismore 8"x10" Frame Clear NewWaterford Crystal Irish Treasres Diamond Cut Footed Bowl (new Damaged Box)Waterford Crystal Sara Diamond Cut & Scalloped Edge Set Of Two Vases NewWaterford Crystal Tara Set Of Two 10" Diamond & Wedge Cut Candlesticks NewWaterford Holiday Heirlooms Ceramic Hand-crafted Santa Cookie Jar NewVintage Waterford Crystal 13" Herringbone Pattern Column Brass Table LampSigned Waterforld Irish Cut Crystal 5 1/2" Footed Glass Candy Fruit Bowl Nr SmsMarquis By Waterford Set Of Three Snowflake Ornaments NewSet Of 4 Waterford Crystal Claret Wine/water Glasses Maeve Tramore VintageSet Of 4 Waterford Crystal Claret Wine/water Glasses Maeve Tramore Vintage(2) Waterford Crystal Lismore Wine HocksWaterford Crystal, Lismore Pattern, Traditional Biscuit BarrelPair Waterford Crystal Millennium Collection Toasting Flutes In Box Waterford Crystal Alana Diamond Cut 5" Footed Bowl 5"w X 4-1/4"h New8 Waterford Crystal Posy Bud Vases Very GoodWaterford Crystal Sara Diamond Cut & Scalloped Edge 2-piece Set Bowl / Bowl NewWaterford Sparkling Signed Colleen Crystal Biscuit Barrel & Lid / EngravedWaterford Crystal O’connell 10" Star Cut Square Elegant TrayWaterford Crystal Irish Treasures 10.5" Diamond Cut Footed Bowl -signed NewVintage Retired Waterford Crystal Baby Bottle Silverplate Nipple Top Fitted BoxSet Of 4 Waterford Lismore Tall 7 1/4" Goblets In Orginal Box Made In Ireland Waterford Crystal Millennium Pair Of Toasting Champagne Flutes Vintage Diminutive Waterford Crystal Castlemaine Cut Glass Mortar & Pestle YqzStunning Vintage Waterford Crystal Peacock Centerpiece Large Bowl Waterford Crystal Sara Scalloped 10" Bowl And 10" Vase NewMarquis By Waterford Christmas Tree Box Red NewSet Of 2 Waterford Crystal Pineapple Candlesticks 6" Pair HospitalityWaterford Crystal Sara 10" Cross Cut & Scalloped Flared Bowl NewVtg Diminutive Waterford Crystal Castlemaine Cut Glass Sugar Bowl Knife Rest YqzGorgeous Waterford Cut Crystal Bowl - Nice Pattern - W/waterford BoxWaterford Table Lamp And Shade With Brass Base 21"Marquis By Waterford Brookside Drinkware Set Of 12 Goblet NewWaterford Evolution Red & Amber Flared Bowl Or VaseWaterford Crystal Oval Napkin Rings-set Of 4Waterford Crystal Seahorse Set Of Two 6 Inch CandlesticksWaterford , 4 Sherbet Champagne Glasses ,lismore , 4 18" , SignedWaterford Crystal Large Trumpet Vase 12" Nice!