Archive for October, 2009

What is Waterford Crystal and How Did It Start?

Waterford Crystal, or Penrose crystal is a premium quality, handcrafted crystal created by the Waterford Wedgewood Company in Waterford, Ireland. Waterford Crystal is renowned worldwide for its deep cuts and purity of design.

What distinguishes Waterford Crystal from the rest? Not so sure anymore!

The craftsmanship of Waterford Crystal sets it apart from its competition. Each piece of Waterford Crystal is characterized by its purity, clarity, and durability. Waterford Crystal is mixed, blown, cut, and polished using the same tools that were in place from the 18th century. Silica sand, lead oxide, and potassium carbonate are mixed and melted into glass. Skilled artisans mold the glass into distinct shapes and send these pieces into an annealing oven. After the crystal is cooled, artisans carve brilliant diamond-like designs into the glass.

What is the history behind Waterford Crystal?

Brothers William and George Penrose started the Penrose Glass House in 1783. The company made high quality crystal pieces that served as gifts to royalty and the wealthy, and enjoyed a profitable export business as one of the premier crystal manufacturers in the world.

What are some of the more popular designs of Waterford Crystal?

Waterford Crystal patterns never truly expire since any out-of-stock patterns can be recreated from scratch. The more popular patterns that exist today are: Lismore, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2006. Characterized by leaf patterns and wedge cuts. Marquis, with its clean lines in contemporary or traditional cuts. Crystal classic collection Clarenden collection Seahorse collection Waterford also makes many non-crystal products, including table and bed linens, flatware, silver products, writing utensils, jewelry, and many collectibles.

A little story of how a Wexford Kid was trained at Waterford Crystal Ireland

The year is 1969 in Waterford City where milk bottles were delivered to your doorstep by Snocream, a well known pasteurised milk producer. Several companies were doing quite well in business, including Clover Meats, The Foundry, Tannery and Waterford Crystal. In Irish terms Waterford Crystal was always known as “The Glass” and glass factory jobs were the cream of the crop, with high wages, best benefits and a sickness program to die for !

When I started in “The Glass” the company had its facility in Johnstown, an area of downtown where lots of pubs and small shops done a bristling trade from the trickle down effect of Waterford Crystal employees.

The manufacturing plant closed in 2009 and there is no more factory tours. Waterford Crystal is gone as we know it but not forgotten.

Oh, Lordy Lordy, what have they done?

James Connolly is a retired Waterford Crystal Master Appraiser and offers you his unique services in Appraisals, Identification. Find out if you have a dud from a special report.

Visit the little web-site at

A Waterford Crystal Antique Story, What‘s In YOUR Basement? Not too long ago I had a gentleman from Vermont contact me saying he had found a pair of Crystal Lamps in his basement. They were covered with some old sheets and were stored in the corner behind some boxes. Not knowing how long they were actually there, he was wondering if I could advise him on the origin or manufacturer of these footed crystal lamps, could they be possibly Waterford Crystal Antiques?, even without any markings. The story goes… that his Mom and Aunt had been left a Crystal Lamp each, by his grandparents, who had lived in various States, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and eventually settled in Vermont, where he is living now. It’s not sure whether his grandparents had visited Ireland at some point or where the lamps were purchased, or how in fact they came to be in his basement ?

These Crystal Lamps had a Tin base that were somewhat rusted and he proceeded to dismantle the electric components to give them a proper clean-up. The Crystal Lamps measured 16 inches high by 8 inches wide and had a steel rod that he carefully removed and placed aside, in order to wash the crystal, where he placed in a large basement sink. While cleaning the crystal lamps his doorbell rang so he stopped what he was doing and proceeded up the stairs to open the door where he was greeted my an old lady who asked, do you remember me? Richard responded “you do look somewhat familiar“. The old lady said that she was a dear old friend of his Aunt, was visiting her daughter and decided to stop by and see how he was.

He invited the old lady in and offered her some tea, where she went on to explain the friendship. She had in fact met Richard when he was a young boy, while he was visiting his Aunt in Georgia, with his Mom. After many hours of chatting and catching up on old times, Richard asked her if she remembered anything about Crystal Lamps and how they came to be in his Mom’s basement. The old lady explained that many years ago she had given birth out of wedlock as a teenager and her parents sent her to a convent in Ireland where she had become a Nun for many years. The Crystal Lamps had been a gift from their Grandparents to each daughter, and she had the third one. The pair of Crystal Lamps were indeed Waterford Crystal and appraised at a high value, even without the markings and watermark.

It was further discovered that in 1952, three Waterford Crystal Lamps were commissioned by a “yank” who frequently visited Ireland from Southern Georgia in the United States. It was further established that these were some of the “first large crystal pieces” to be produced by the masters of Waterford Crystal. Ireland, post war. So, where’s the best place to buy a Waterford Lamp. Check out the collection here Waterford Lamps

What’s in YOUR basement. Your Waterford Crystal might be worth more than you think, so have it appraised now !!!