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    

12 Vintage Waterford Lismore Crystal Cross Hatch Stemware White Wine Glasses YqzLot Of 2 Signed Waterford Irish Deep Cut Crystal Abbey 4" Desk Table Clock TshSigned Waterford Deep Cut Crystal Araglin Prestige Cobalt Blue 9" Bowl Nr Tsh 1Waterford Crystal Lismore Vintage 6" White Wine Claret Glasses Goblets Set(8) 10-1/2" Vintage Irish Waterford Crystal Christmas Tree Topper Signed W/boxWaterford Cut Crystal 10" Christmas Tree Topper In Original BoxWaterford Winter Wonderland Red Ball Ornament W/boxWaterford Crystal Mayonnaise Jug-new In Original BoxWaterford Cut Crystal 10" Christmas Tree Topper In Original BoxHuge Ltd Ed Waterford Crystal Times Square Ball Star Of Hope Centerpiece W BoxWaterford Cut Crystal Colleen Prestige 60th Anniversary Cobalt Blue 8" Vase Tsh Waterford Crystal Decanters, BarwareSigned Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Lismore Biscuit Barrel Cookie Jar Mwb 2Waterford Snow Crystals Christmas Spire OrnamentWaterford Crystal 12 Days Of Christmas Partridge In A Pear TreeWaterford Crystal Christmas Ornament Partridge In Pear Tree Box And Pouch 1982Waterford Crystal Tree TopperWaterford Crystal Christmas Tree TopperSigned Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Lismore Biscuit Barrel Cookie Jar Nr Mwb4 Waterford Marquis Huge Vintage Aromatic Red Wine Glasses Bnib 5 Waterford Crystal Colleen Tall Stem Claret Goblets - Signed - 6 1/2"~lot Of 7 ~waterford Crystal 12 Days Of Christmas Ornaments~1983 To 1989~nib~Large Signed Waterford Deep Cut Crystal Glass Lismore Shelf Mantle Clock Nr TshWaterford Crystal Lismore Ships Decanter And Stopper 10 1/4" TallWaterford Crystal Christmas Night 10" Wedge Cut & Scalloped Edge Footed Bowl New10 Vintage Waterford Crystal Marquis Laurent Pattern Stemware Wine Glasses 2 YqzSigned Waterford Deep Cut Crystal Jim O'leary L/e Viking Centerpiece Bowl Nr TshWaterford Crystal Christmas Tree Topper Clear And Red HighlightsWaterford Crystal Lismore Brandy Snifter Glass 5 1/4"t Set Of 6 ExcellentWaterford Cut Crystal Colleen Prestige 60th Anniversary Cobalt Blue 8" Vase Tsh Signed Waterford Deep Cut Crystal Araglin Prestige Cobalt Blue 7" Bowl Nr Tsh 2Signed Waterford Deep Cut Crystal Araglin Prestige Cobalt Blue 7" Bowl Nr Tsh 1No Reserve 3 Waterford Crystal Champagne Flutes Colleen Tall Old Mark ~lot Of 8 ~waterford Crystal 12 Days Of Christmas Ornaments~1990's~nib~Waterford Crystal Times Square 2009 Xmas OrnamentMarquis Waterford Crystal Carnivale Venetian Red Christmas Tree Topper W/box HtfSigned Waterford Deep Cut Crystal Araglin Prestige Cobalt Blue 7" Bowl Nr Tsh 3Set Of Two Waterford Crystal Tara 10" Diamond & Wedge Cut CandlesticksWaterford Crystal Lismore Vtg 5 1/2" White Wine Claret Glasses Goblets Set (4) S/4 Waterford Cut Crystal Lismore 8oz Old Fashioned Tumblers Glasses Gothic SignSigned Waterford Deep Cut Crystal Araglin Prestige Cobalt Blue 9" Bowl Nr Tsh 2Lot Of 2 Waterford Chrystal 12 Days Of Christmas Bells 1992 Waterford Annual Crystal Ball Ornament-cobalt Blue Waterford Crystal 2005 Snow Star Christmas OrnamentWaterford Crystal Desk ClockWaterford Crystal Inishmaan 110v Lamp! Nib!Set Of 6 Vintage Waterford Lismore Claret Wine / Water Goblets 5 3/4" Set 1 Of 210 Vintage Waterford Crystal Marquis Laurent Pattern Stemware Wine Glasses 3 YqzWaterford Crystal Maeve 14" Table Lamp W/ Original ShadeWaterford Crystal Nativity Collection Angel Sculpture W/ Original Box 5th EdWaterford Crystal Annual Santa Claus With Christmas Tree Figurine 5th Edition Waterford Crystal Sara Diamond Cut & Scalloped Edge 2-piece Set Bowl / Bowl NewWaterford Crystal Seahorse Ball OrnamentWaterford Crystal 2001 Christmas Star OrnamentWaterford Crystal Mantel Clock-mint In Original BoxWaterford Crystal Seahorse 13" Diamond & Wedge Cut Footed VaseWaterford Crystal Heritage Seahorse 12.25" Sculpted Pedestal Bowl Signed NewWaterford Crystal Lismore Classic Square Decanter 40003432 NewWaterford Deep Cut Crystal Alana Prestige Lavender Centerpiece 11" Bowl Nr Tsh 22 Waterford Seahorse Pattern Crystal Dof Double Old Fashioned Glasses *new*