- Welcome to The Wise Collector
- Knowledge Changes Everything!
- Buyer Beware!
- Buyer Beware!: Part II
- Caring for Your Antiques
- Coin Collecting
- McCoy Pottery
- Chinese Export Porcelain
- Frankoma Pottery
- The Arts and Crafts Movement
- The Art Deco Period
- Susie Cooper Pottery
- Limoges China
- 18th C American Furniture Styles
- The Bauhaus School: Weimar 1919
- The Bauhaus School: Design & Architecture
- The End of a Century: Art Nouveau Style
- Biedermeier: The Comfortable Style
- The Souvenir Age
- A History of Ceramic Tiles
- Flow Blue China
- Collect Vintage Christmas Decorations
- An American Thanksgiving Through theYears
- How to Find an Antiques Appraiser
- Louis Prang, Father of the American Christmas Card
- Thomas Cook and the Grand Tours
- Harry Rinker's 25th Anniversary
- Mid-Century Modern
- Will Chintz China become Popular Again?
- Ireland's Waterford Crystal
- Vintage Wicker and Rattan
- Fishing Gear Collecting
- Bennington Pottery
- Identifying Pottery and Ceramic Marks
- The Art of Needlework in the Arts & Crafts Era
- The Delicious World of Vintage Cookbooks
- BLOG: RANDOM THOUGHTS
- E-BOOKS BY BARBARA BELL
- First Reader Consulting
Ireland's Waterford Crystal
What better way to celebrate Irish heritage than to appreciate the beauty of its handiwork, especially the exquisite crystal known as Waterford? The town of Waterford, a charming place to visit, is set in Waterford County, which offers a dramatic coastline, verdant river valleys and a modest range of mountains. For views of the town, you can visit Waterford Tourism.
Waterford City was established in Viking times and it retains its medieval flavor and riverside activity. There, in 1783, the brothers George and William Penrose founded the Waterford Glass House, promising to make crystal in "as fine a quality as any in Europe...in the most elegant style." Their secret formula created crystal with unusual qualities: When tapped, it sang sweetly. When touched,it felt warm and soft; yet it possessed strength and durability. The crystal shone with a brilliance that ensured its desirability.
Today, two hundred years later, Waterford Crystal is made exactly the same way. The process is labor-intensive, and each piece turns out a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, created by a master craftsman. The lengthy procedure is described in detail at Waterford Crystal.
A great many changes have come to Waterford, the company, in the last ten years. Waterford Crystal was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2009, due to overwhelming economic forces against which it had little recourse. It had been taken over by the Wedgwood Group in 1986, which brought in Jasper Conran to design his signature line of glassware and complementary tableware. However, in 2005 the Dungarvan factory was closed and all manufacturing was consolidated in Kilbarry, Waterford City. When Waterford Wedgwood went into receivership in 2009 that factory in Kilbarry was also closed. Its adjacent tourist center was also shuttered, an equally distressing loss to the city and its inhabitants.
After protracted efforts and public demonstrations over the loss of jobs, the Waterford Crystal and Wedgwood firms were bought by KPS Capital Partners and joined Royal Doulton, and other prestigious brands familiar to lovers and collectors of fine china, glassware and tableware. However, the Kilbarry factory and the visitor’s center were not reopened.
In a sense, Waterford has returned to its roots as it opened a new manufacturing facility in Waterford City, along with a new visitor center, in 2010.
Waterford glass has a long and illustrious history of providing beautiful pieces of art glass and tableware, such as a chandelier for Westminster Abbey’s 900th anniversary, the massive crystal ball in Times Square that marks New Year’s Eve, trophies for sports competitions such as the Masters Tennis Tournament and the French and German Grand Prix Formula One racing competition.
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