Item #

Featured Item Chandelier 00997
with details

French 24-arm
chandelier, c 1900
Baccarat crystal
45" w x 60" h


chandelier 00997

chandelier 00997 detail A


Reference Information on Pieces in Our Collection

Waterford Crystal is a trademark brand of crystal glassware, originally produced in Waterford, Ireland. In 1783 the first crystal was produced in Waterford by the Penrose brothers and became well known throughout the world for its quality and beauty. The company closed in 1851.

In 1947 Charles Bacik, a Czech glassmaker, set up his factory there to benefit from the excellent reputation Waterford had gained with the early crystal. The business struggled in a harsh post-war economic depression and was taken over by Irish investors. Fine Waterford crystal continued to be produced although not exclusively in Waterford, Ireland. Waterford crystal was and is also made in the Czech Republic and Germany.

In 1966 Waterford's chandeliers were installed in Westminster Abbey for its 900th anniversary, a gift of the Guinness family.

Waterford's acquisition of the Wedgwood pottery in 1986,lead to design collaboration between the two manufacturies, At the end of the 20th century, Waterford designer Jasper Conran developed his signature lines of crystal and complementary bone china tableware was developed by Wedgwood designers.

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Josiah Wedgwood apprenticed with the potter Thomas Whieldon until 1759, when he gained enough money through marriage to set up his own business, Josiah Wedgwood and Sons. A factor in his success with pottery were his industrial innovations, especially his development of a way to measure kiln temperature accurately.

A few years after opening shop, he created a new pottery form which attracted the attention of the queen consort Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Called "queen's ware, it was sought after throughout Europe.

He developed several new types of wares, among them basaltware, queensware, and caneware, but is best known for his jasperware, styled after the Portland vase, a Roman antiquity then owned by the third Duke of Portland [now in the British Museum].

The vase was made with cameo glass technique in which two layers of glass, the outer being whire, are blown together and then the white layer is carved as a cameo relief. The cameo subjects are often mythological. The Duke lent the vase to Wedgwood to study and Wedgwood developed a ceramic style along the same lines. Although Wedgwood made jasperware in several colors, usually with a white overlay, the first color, and the one that instantly springs to mind when thinking of Wedgwood is Portland blue, which color he developed to most closely recreate the look of the portland vase.

Jasperware was developed not only as tableware, vases, and trinket boxes, but also as cameo jewelry and as medallion reliefs of noble patrons. Wedgwood also developed a hard paste bone china to compete with fine Chinese export porcelain.

The Wedgwood business was passed down from father to son or uncle to nephew for six generations.The first non-Wedgwood was Arthur Bryan, who took the helm in 1968. In 1987 Wedgwood was acquired by Waterford, creating Waterford Wedgwood, an Ireland-based luxury brands group.

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