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A wonder of Waterford, Ireland, Waterford Crystal has dazzled many for
generations from designers to dignitaries. With origins in the latter half of the 18th
century, Waterford pieces continue to be cherished today in collections
Waterford Crystal began with two Irishmen, William and George Penrose, who
set out in 1783 to manufacture flint glass in their Waterford-based glassworks.
Their initial decades were profitable, but the dawn of the 19th century saw the
introduction of increasingly high taxes on such glass, resulting in the company's
eventual closure in the 1850s. Falling silent for almost a century, Waterford was
later revived under the direction of Czech glassmakers Charles Bacik and Miroslav
Havel. The duo attained the pattern books from the original days of Waterford and
subsequently channeled that taste into their 20th-century creations.
One of the enduring aspects of Waterford's designs is their dedication to utmost
quality in craftsmanship. As a part of this dedication, Waterford now works with a
consortium of crystal companies across Europe, ensuring the pieces they bring to
market are the most outstanding. From refined stemware to smaller decorative
pieces, Waterford crystal is a favorite for collecting or gifting pieces of antique
One of the 19th-century capstones for original Waterford design was a
monumental banquet center piece comprising forty pieces of elegantly-cut glass so
carefully honed that they could be assembled without fittings, brackets, nor
Though Waterford glass has been in existence for more than 200 years, it was
their upscale Marquis line, which debuted in 1991, that first bore the label
Many clamor for the collectible apprentice bowl, a piece created by each
apprentice at the end of their training as a showcase of their mastery of every
pattern cut Waterford creates