Few designs stand the test of time like those made of crystal, and of those, perhaps no design is as iconic as Waterford’s Lismore motif. The elegant pattern celebrates its 70th anniversary this year and looks just as fresh and modern today as it did in 1952.
Waterford’s first chief designer, Miroslav Havel, created Lismore using inspiration from one of Ireland’s historic castles: Lismore Castle in County Waterford. The castle has stunning Gothic-style architecture with magnificent turrets, vaulted ceilings, and elegant windows. Havel interpreted these design elements into a pattern with diamond cuts and flowing upright wedge cuts that echo the soaring ceilings and towers. What began as a single water goblet became one of Waterford’s most expansive collections and its best-selling crystal pattern.
The Evolution of Lismore
Today, there are several different Lismore motifs to suit every personal style. Lismore Essence is one of the most popular. Its modern design is more delicate and focused on the base of the glasses instead of covering much of the surface. The shapes are softer and more rounded, too, when compared with the more angular original collection. The Champagne flute is one of our picks for the best glasses for Champagne and sparkling wine.
While Lismore Essence lightens the pattern, Lismore Diamond makes it more intricate and dramatic by adding rings of diamond cuts among the upward flowing wedge cuts. The more daring Lismore Black features contrasting opaque black and clear crystal in each piece, perhaps a nod to the Gothic inspiration of the original design.
The 70th Anniversary Collections
To celebrate the 70th anniversary of Lismore, Waterford unveiled several stunning designs. The Lismore Arcus is an updated interpretation of the Gothic architecture at the eponymous castle. In Latin, arcus means “arch,” so the design naturally features sweeping, curved cuts that recall the vaulted ceilings alongside the classic crisscross pattern. To celebrate the 70th anniversary of Lismore, Waterford unveiled several stunning designs. The Lismore Arcus is an updated interpretation of the Gothic architecture at the eponymous castle. In Latin, arcus means “arch,” so the design naturally features sweeping, curved cuts that recall the vaulted ceilings alongside the classic crisscross pattern. Pieces are available individually, but there’s also a limited-edition Lismore Arcus Mastercraft set inspired by 1950s cocktail culture that is fully handmade in Ireland. The Lismore Arcus Entertaining Set features a beautiful punch bowl with six cups, limited to just 70.
The Lismore 1952 Mastercraft collection highlights the anniversary with “Lismore 70” delicately etched on the stems. While crafted with the same techniques as in 1952, the glasses are more generously sized to suit modern tastes.
Finally, there’s the new Lismore Tall collection. It features the original Lismore pattern but with taller stems more akin to today’s glassware, without sacrificing the iconic style or the exquisite artistry.
Each piece of Waterford crystal honors the time-tested craftsmanship that its founders perfected in the 18th century. Its master craftsmen spend eight years as apprentices learning the artistic craft and precise techniques required to handcraft luxury crystal. Master blowers begin the process by using wood molds and hand tools to shape the molten crystal. Next, they use a furnace set to 2,400℉ to blow a molten ball of crystal into the desired shape. Each piece is then inspected to ensure it is perfectly formed. If it is not, the crystal is smashed and remelted for use in a future piece. Finally, the pattern emerges. A master cutter draws a geometric grid of the pattern onto the smooth crystal, then carefully cuts the pattern using diamond-tipped wheels. Once the pattern is complete, the piece is polished to smooth any rough edges and create a brilliant shine, then it is inspected a final time.
Many people have inherited Lismore pieces from family members, making it the ultimate modern heirloom, but the collection is also a favorite of stylish hosts of any age. Nothing dresses up a dinner party or makes a celebration feel more special like luxury crystal. While fine crystal will always look stunning at formal occasions and celebrations, the beauty and weight of Lismore pieces make them a perfect way to add a bit of glamour to everyday life. Pieces like the Lismore Square Ring Holder elevate mundane tasks, such as washing dishes, while Lismore crystal vases transform even simple grocery-store flowers into magnificent floral arrangements. Of course, you don’t need bubbles to use the beautiful drinkware. Even your morning smoothie becomes a special affair in a Lismore HiBall glass.
To learn more about Lismore, visit Waterford.com