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Waterford Crystal Glass

Waterford (Ireland)
Waterford (Ireland)

Among glassware aficionados, the name Waterford has earned a place of eminence — both for antique crystal made by the original Irish company in the 18th and 19th centuries, and for new versions of the firm’s classic patterns produced after its rebirth in the 1940s. With either iteration, Waterford is a byword for traditional elegance.


Waterford crystal was born of a tax loophole. In 1783, business-minded brothers George and William Penrose founded the Waterford Glass House in southeastern Ireland because Irish glass was exempt from steep British import duties. The two wanted to make fine-quality wares and hired artisans from England, including master glassmaker John Hill. The factory’s flint glass — a precursor to lead crystal — soon won a clientele among British and continental aristocrats. One of Hill’s aesthetic innovations was to polish glassware after a pattern was cut, to buff off the resulting frosted surface. The look became a Waterford trademark. Through the fame of its wine goblets, claret jugs and decanters, the firm continued to win honors at the many industrial expositions of the early Victorian era. But over those years, higher and higher luxury excise taxes were placed on fine crystal. Waterford products became prohibitively expensive, and the company closed in 1851.


The brand’s renown was still intact when it was revived in 1947 by a Czech glass manufacturer named Charles Bacik, who moved to Ireland after the Communist takeover of his country. For centuries, the region now called the Czech Republic had been the great glassware center of Middle Europe — source of crystal to great Viennese glass design firms such as Lobmeyr and Bakalowits. So Bacik brought with him the master glassblower and designer Miroslav Havel. In Dublin, Havel studied the old Waterford style book archives kept in the National Museum. He used these classic patterns as the basis for new ones such as Lismore, with its crosshatching and flame-like vertical cuts, and Alana, with its heavily textured diamond cuts. Past and present are thus linked at Waterford. As you will see on 1stDibs, antique or recently made, Waterford crystal is the essence of refinement.

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Set of 12 Vintage Waterford Crystal Lismore Wine Glasses, Germany, circa 1990s
By Waterford Crystal
Located in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Set of twelve luxury crystal wine glasses from Waterford Crystal. The Lismore Collection is perhaps Waterford's most distinguished design featuring a hand blown crystal with the patt...
Category

1990s German Regency Waterford Crystal Glass

Materials

Crystal

Set of Waterford Crystal 12 Days of Christmas Champagne Flutes
By Waterford Crystal
Located in Hopewell, NJ
Like new set of Waterford Crystal limited edition champagne flutes based on the 12 days of Christmas and appropriately etched to match which day. Each comes with original gift box, p...
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2010s Italian Waterford Crystal Glass

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Evolutuion Art Glass Vase by Waterford
By Waterford Crystal
Located in New York, NY
Large and impressive art glass vase signed Waterford Evolution. This impressive vase has a red tone top with swirling organic orangish forms decorating the bottom portion of the pie...
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Late 20th Century Finnish Post-Modern Waterford Crystal Glass

Waterford Crystal Footed Centerpiece Bowl with Seahorse Motif and Original Box
By Waterford Crystal
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Substantial signed Waterford cut crystal footed centerpiece bowl accented by a figural seahorse in the stem portion of the base. The bowl has scalloped edges around the rim and deep ...
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20th Century Irish Modern Waterford Crystal Glass

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Irish Coventry Posy Cut Crystal Petite Vase, Waterford Marquis Collection
By Waterford Crystal
Located in Big Flats, NY
Irish Waterford Crystal Marquis Collection “Coventry Posy” petite vase features fan cuts and frosted petals, marked on base “Marquis by Waterford”, 20th century. ***DELIVERY NOTICE ...
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20th Century Northern Irish Waterford Crystal Glass

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