Design Moment: Waterford Lismore, 1952

There is something very special in the Lismore design that makes it t timeless, at one both heritage and modern

Lismore Waterford Glass

Lismore Waterford Glass

 

The most enduring and indeed most globally famous pattern in Waterford Glass is Lismore and while crystal-cut glass isn’t as popular as it once was, even as a wedding present – who has time for glassware that isn’t dishwasher friendly? – there is something very special in the Lismore design that makes it timeless, with both heritage and modern elements.

The lack of prestige Ireland tends to afford its craft workers means that its designer Miroslav Havel is not more widely known. A talented and experienced glass cutter he was brought to Waterford in 1947 by fellow Czech Charles Bacik, then chief designer at the glass company. In 1952 Havel created Lismore. He took his inspiration from the work of the Penrose brothers who had founded the crystal factory in 1783 and from the leaded windows and turrets in Lismore Castle. He combined wedge cuts and open plain diamond cutting to create the pattern which makes the glass catch the light and gives it a very satisfying textured feel in the hand. It looks as crystal should – purely luxurious. Havel became an Irish citizen and settled in Waterford and in 1957 married Betty Storey, a Waterford woman he met in the factory. He died in 2008 at the age of 86.

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