The Craic!

“May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been,
the foresight to know where you are going,
and the insight to know when you have gone too far.”

Irish Saying

John Rocha  Black Cut Decanter

John Rocha
Black Cut Decanter

Waterford Crystal designs, manufactures and markets an extensive range of crystal stemware, barware and giftware for distribution throughout the world. Waterford Crystal’s pieces are watermarked with the word “Waterford”, signifying the name committed to creating respected products for gift giving, entertaining, and home decorating . Aside from its core crystal products, the company produces Waterford China, Table and Bed Linens, Stainless Flatware and Silver Gifts, Writing Instruments, Holiday Heirlooms and Crystal Jewelry, each possessing unsurpassed beauty and quality.

waterford_waterford_crystal_chess_set_

Waterford Gifts, Fleurology Sunflower Waterford® Crystal Fleurology Glass Tulip

History
The company of Waterford was first established in 1783 on land next to Merchants’ Quay in the heart of the Irish harbor town of Waterford. Its founders were two brothers, William and George Penrose, who were important developers and principal exporters in the city. Their vision was to “create the finest quality crystal for drinking vessels and objects of beauty for the home.” More than two hundred years later, the reputation they established for creating glass of unsurpassed beauty and quality has transcended the intervening centuries.

The beginnings of glass making in Ireland are lost in the mists of time but there is enough archaeological evidence to show that, from the early Iron Age, glass was regarded with respect. Indeed, medieval documents can prove glass making existed in Ireland back in the middle 13th century.

However, the Waterford Crystal story started to blossom in 1783 when two brothers, George and William Penrose, founded their crystal manufacturing business in the busy port of Waterford. They were important developers and the city’s principal exporters. The development, they told the Irish Parliament, cost £10,000 – a great deal of money in the 18th century.

They employed 50 to 70 people, led by a fellow Quaker, John Hill, from Stourbridge in England, and succeeded in producing crystal with a purity of colour unmatched in Ireland or England. Merchant ships sailed regularly from the port of Waterford with cargoes of crystal bound for Spain, the West Indies, New York, New England and Newfoundland.

But less than 100 years later the first company failed due to lack of capital and excessive taxation. In what seems a remarkably short time, Waterford Crystal acquired an unequalled reputation that has transcended the intervening centuries.

Another century passed before the enterprise was revived. In 1947, while Europe was still in ruins after the second World War, a small glass factory was set up in Waterford just 11/2 miles from the site of the original glass factory.

Waterford-Crystal-Lamp

Waterford Araglin

Araglin Pattern

In November 2000, Waterford Crystal was named as the top world-class brand in the United States by a survey conducted among 30,000 people by the Princeton, New Jersey, based independent market research company, Total Research Corporation. Total Research said that Waterford Crystal was judged by American consumers as the brand with the highest quality out of 19 world-class brands in the US market. Other brands in the league table below Waterford include Rolls-Royce Bentley, Bose stereo and speaker systems, Philadelphia cream cheese, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Kodak, Heinz ketchup and National Geographic magazine.

In 2002, Waterford celebrated the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the Lismore pattern of crystal. Almost every year since its inception, Lismore has topped the popularity list and has been the biggest selling pattern of crystal in the US and the world. But there are others among the repertoire of Ireland’s most famous export that have gained their own following – Alana, Carina, Araglin.

In January 2009, there was  news about the closing of the World Famous Waterford Crystal manufacturing plant in Kilbarry- another victim of the economic conditions around the world. It did close. With a new corporate  management team, a new Plant and Visitor Center opened in June 2010 and is producing thousands of pieces of the famous 40% lead crystal.  There are other plants around the world, but the Ireland operation produces all the custom and large pieces, such as huge trophies for major Sports Championships.

Waterford Cinderella's Carriage

Cinderella’s Carriage

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Crystal Eagle detail

Waterford-Crystal-ball-prepared-for-New-Years-Eve-in-New-York

Crystal Ball ready for New Years Eve to Welcome 2014 in New York

Waterford is a beautiful option for serving Master a glass of wine at the end of the day.
dievca serves Master with grace, using her Alana Essence pattern.

Waterford Alana Essence

Alana Essence Pattern

Thank you to the Irish for sharing such elegance, wisdom and humor with the World.

HAPPY SAINT PATRICK’S DAY!


16 Comments on “The Craic!”

  1. That carriage was incredible.

    Like

  2. If Cinderella had such a magnificent carriage, I can’t even imagine the beauty of her glass slipper ! The story of Waterford Crystal has a fairytalelike happy ending as their magical pieces are still produced ! XO

    Like

  3. esther says:

    the lamp is stunning. xx

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    • dievca says:

      I was trying to find pieces that weren’t just crystal goblets. The lamp is the first photo I saved. You have to have the correct decor for it to shine. I run more modern, but the lamp would be so beautiful in a classic oak panelled library. Did you note that the first 3 large photos are very masculine pieces? I had Master and His club in mind.

      Like

      • Sara Waggonner says:

        I have had this beautiful Waterford lamp for about 15 years, and when I wipe the dust off it shines so beautifully! I have mine sitting on a desk in my family room. I bought it for myself when I made my first big commission on a sales job. I keep it on all the time. It is beautiful no matter where it is displayed. I’ve had numerous compliments for it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • dievca says:

        How gorgeous and how awesome to celebrate your success. Enjoy the Lamp – I imagine it is exquisite!

        Like

  4. The decanter…. xxx

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    • dievca says:

      I love it, too. I was surprised to find it. It’s so commanding/masculine. I wonder how the relationship with John Rocha developed – I don’t think that Waterford had connected with anyone before or are planning to do so, again. The items premiered in 12/2011

      Whoop! I just read that there has been a long standing collaboration with John Rocha and Waterford — 13+ years. Hmmm. I will have to read more….

      Like

  5. If I had that lamp I’d just decorate the rest around it! Glorious! xxx

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  6. jackiemallon says:

    There was a lot of Waterford Crystal in my childhood and people tended to select the same pieces over and over (wedding presents that sat for decades in special glass fronted cabinets) but you have highlighted some unusual pieces. There is more to it than meets the eye. That lamp, now, that was not in any home I visited as a child…lovely.

    Like

    • dievca says:

      I tried to find the odd (more interesting) pieces of Waterford. I would like to learn to play chess — so the chess set caught my eye and to see a black piece of Waterford (John Rochas decanter) – how unique. PS. Waterford is a traditional wedding gift for couples in the Midwest….

      Like


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