Twenty Five Years and Twenty Five Dollars Apart

Martha Scott
October 1, 2019

About 25 years ago, I bought a small Waterford bowl at Tuesday morning -- back in the day when it opened on Tuesday morning after being closed for a period of time. They advertised Waterford and off we went. I paid $30 for it and thought I got a steal!

Today, I was at a flea market/antique mall/group vendor store and lo and behold, there is a small bowl, labeled "crystal bowl" for $6. It looked like the one I have had "forever", I lifted it and even though it wasn't signed I knew it was Waterford. That booth was having a sale and so I got it for $5!

Bought 25 years apart for a difference of $25!

Comments (46)

  • umbleabode

    That is a find! Good for you.

  • murraysmom Zone 6a OH

    Excellent find! It's obvious today that the younger generation doesn't care much about Waterford or good crystal of any kind. It can be found for a good price like your piece. I had a Waterford vase that was a gift. It was big and beautiful but I just didn't use it much at all. I donated it to an upscale consignment shop that benefits breast cancer research. I also consigned a very large Celadon ginger jar but so far no call that it has sold. I just got a much smaller heavy lead crystal vase at our farmers market $8 including some very beautiful flowers. I don't know that it is Waterford but I like it for it's smaller size. Yours are interestingly shaped. Great find in both cases.

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  • OutsidePlaying

    Nice find.

  • Gerry

    After downsizing, I donated all my Waterford because my kids didn’t want it and I had no room, nor was I going to entertain like I did. I kept a couple of pieces that were meaningful to me.

    Martha Scott thanked Gerry
  • maddie260

    I toured the Waterford factory many, many years ago when the crystal was made in Ireland. That was the kind of bowl that the crystal cutters had to cut perfectly to become a 'master' cutter. Cutters apprenticed for a long time.

    Martha Scott thanked maddie260
  • terilyn

    I love Waterford, I get the angel ornament every year, I think they are beautiful.

  • eld6161

    Glad to see that there are still those who can appreciate the finer things!

  • functionthenlook

    We like watching the antique road show. They sometimes have before and now shows. They show the appraised value from years ago and what the appraised value is now. A lot of thing went down in value. The younger generation don't want the stuff.

  • lindac92

    There are very often many bargains at thrift shops....I sure have found a few!...Including a pair of Waterford wine glasses.
    Did you look really closely for the waterford mark?

  • arcy_gw

    Sadly crystal has gone the way of china the younger generations aren't interested so "value" is in the eye of the beholder. Your purchases really tell the tale I am afraid.

  • ritaweeda

    I've noticed that a lot of things that used to be considered valuable aren't so much anymore - mainly crystal, china, glassware, ceramics, and especially furniture. I suppose the values may rise again at some point but anyone who invested 15 years ago has lost money big time.

  • Martha Scott

    Linda -- I did. But not all Waterford is marked. My original one is not (bought new with stickers and box) so I was not surprised to see that this wasn't.

  • vicsgirl

    Sad for me to see this. Back in the day, I collected "Depression " glass, essentially mass-produced pressed (often colored) glass sold cheap back in the 1930';s and 40's. I inheiriited six pink glasses from my Grandmother when she passed, did some research (before the Internet) identified the pattern as "Colonial" made by Anchor Hocking, and went on to collect at least six of every item they produced , from tea cups and saucers to shot glasses to bowls of different sizes and a round covered butterdish, I travelled throughout the east coast, visiting antique stores, garage sales and huge antique markets during the 1970s and 80s. I know I spent thusands of dollars, good thing I didn't keep records. I figured they were an "investment" or at least an heirloom I could pass to my children. But, no, my daughters are not interested in funny old glasses. And I have no room to keep them in my small kitchen. So they sit, packed away in boxes marke "Pink glass" in my basement. When I pass way, I am sure they will be tossed out or sold for only a small fraction of what I spent.

  • Martha Scott

    Sorry vicsgirl. I, too, have some Depression glass and it was one of the first things we collected. We were not dedicated to one pattern or color, however, and so when prices were good we sold most of it. We do have a couple of pink Mayfair pitchers and two different sets of Mayfair glasses and I also have some green Colonial stem glasses. My feeling is that you collect what you love and you use it! If it goes up in price -- then great! If it doesn't, then so be it. But then the glasses you buy at TJ Maxx won't have any value in 15 years either!

  • chloebud

    "My feeling is that you collect what you love and you use it!"

    I agree, Martha!

  • lindac92

    Also daughter sort of collects bubble blue depression....mostly plates of different sizes....and her Royal Daulton china has a bit of blue in it too.....and a blue glass salad plate looks lovely with ther china.....she also has her grandmother's Friendly Village.....and some apple green depression plates which look great with those dishes.
    yep use it.
    As for unmarked I remember that when it was sold to the Chinese company that they no longer marked every piece?

    Martha Scott thanked lindac92
  • Martha Scott

    I'm not sure about that Linda. But I have older pieces of Waterford -- when it was still made in Ireland that isn't marked or at least I can't see it. So based on the "original" bowl, bought at a retailer with the green Waterford sticker in a grey Waterford box and the fact that this is it's twin, I'm sure it's old Waterford. I do think when they came out with the Marquis line, which was not made in Ireland but at that time in Eastern Europe, that they cheapened the whole brand. But it WAS cheaper (because there are less cuts and it wasn't made in Ireland -- less wages) because regular Waterford was so expensive and they were trying to get the glassware more "affordable". Well, it's more affordable now all right -- look at Ebay -- I can't believe how little it is selling for!

  • Tootsie

    My girls are not interested in my Waterford glasses so I cleaned out my cabinet and replaced my cheepo water glasses with my Waterford. I smile everyone I open that door! I put them in the dishwasher and use them everyday!

  • sleeperblues

    My Mom had so much Waterford, and after she passed away none of us wanted it. My sister did eventually take it. Full sets of wine glasses, water glasses, cordial glasses, don't even know what they were all called. One sister took one set of china, and the other took the other. None of us needed it, but it felt wrong giving it away. Times have changed.

  • PRO

    Very sad to see that these days younger generations don't value these treasures - it's very much a throw away generation for many. Your Waterford catch is lovely, and you can go antique shopping for me any day!

    Martha Scott thanked 4Heidesign
  • chloebud

    My mother-in-law had a business that sold fine china and crystal. We have a ton of Waterford and Lenox because of that. None of our kids want it. The sellers of our current home left a Waterford chandelier in the house. Guess they and/or their family members didn't really care. I'm still not sure what to do with it.

    Martha Scott thanked chloebud
  • maifleur01

    I have a couple of small Waterford vases the size you use to put violets or lily of the valley in. I purchased them in the late 1960s and the only marking they had was the paper label that stated Waterford. Halls may have sold counterfeit stuff but somehow I doubt it.

    Martha Scott thanked maifleur01
  • Martha Scott

    maifleur -- I have six of those vases and use them for individual bouquets for luncheons. I think I bought one retail and the rest were antique shop finds -- I did have a rule -- not over $15 each!

  • Martha Scott

    maifleur -- Not all old Waterford is marked. And I'm not sure why they didn't mark it all. But all of my new Waterford came with that green paper label!

  • maifleur01

    I know about not everything being marked but linda apparently has not. Even though the "experts" state that it is I used to watch the BBC Antiques Roadshow and was quickly informed that not all were marked only the more expensive stuff.

  • patriciae_gw

    Great find!

    I love old china and crystal and such and use mine. I owned tons of china and linen and glass ware where my home burned. At least I used it.

    There is something called the Antique Road show effect. When they put on some piece that is "very rare" people all over the country say-hey I have one of those in the attic! and the price drops through the floor.

  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!

    I love crystal. I like to entertain like back in the day and use my crystal, China and silver all the time. I am fortunate to love what my parents and grandparents loved, and have children who seem to like the same things as well. Times certainly change and we can update our tables in many ways, but there is no point in casting away beautiful things. My grandmother would never have set her table with stemware that did not match, for example, or put down anything other than a white linen or Damask tablecloth. My mother and I mix and match crystal, use colorful tablecloths, or just placemats. Style can evolve. No need to chuck everything out.

  • patriciae_gw

    I remembered inflation. You did better than you realized. that $25 from 25 years ago would be around $42.75 now

  • Martha Scott

    Oh, Zalco, we're kindred spirits! I love to entertain like back in the day as well . . . but my tables are old fashioned to fit my almost antique house! I use one set of sterling all the time and I'll use the china at least for Sunday lunch. The rest of the time it's English transfer ware. They also develop a patina when they've been used!

  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!

    It's always a treat to see your beautiful table settings, Martha. I love your Blue Italian, and all the delicious dishes and bakes you show us. Your house is filled with warmth and charm. Formality has such a bad rap these days, as though it is uncomfortable to be surrounded by beauty, au contraire, as far as I am concerned.

    Martha Scott thanked Zalco/bring back Sophie!
  • lindac92

    Well....guess I will go trolling eBay for Waterford.....I need to replace a couple of alana old fashioned glasses I have broken.

  • vicsgirl

    I posted earlier about my unused, unappreciated pink depression glass. Those who said I should USE it if I like it so much. And I WILL. I had fun during the "collecting " years. I am now an old lady, a widow, and I might as well get some enjoyment out of them. Even if it's only for holidays and birthdays, I will get them out of storage and enjoy them!

  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!

    Hooray! So happy to hear this, vicsgirl. Pink glass is so cheerful.

  • Martha Scott

    Vicsgirl -- do it! Enjoy them! You'll not be sorry!

  • lindac92

    Alas....not finding any bargains in Waterford on eBay. My missing glasses are about 35 to $45., shipping....
    and have been researching and from what I see all Waterford made in Ireland was marked.....and I don't have a lot....but every piece I have is marked.
    I also know that Tuesday Morning didn't always buy first quality nor were they reluctant to buy counterfeit items...Look closely at your bowls and tilt them in a very bright light......and look on the Waterford site for bowls like yours.
    But no matter you have a pair of lovely cut crystal bowls for $35...a buy no matter what they are!

  • lkihlk hiffmpequt

    So sad. I wandered into a resale shop for a hospital charity and there were sets and sets of china, some of it very nice. I was sobering to think of all those sets, once someone's pride and joy no longer needed. Anything with gold or silver on it has to be hand washed and I wondered if that was some of it. Some fo the designs were a bit heavy for my taste. I do know friends who buy is second hand and set a fabulous table for a nice winter brunch. So many spoons and knives, my husband nearly has a nervous breakdown! Such civilized fun!

    Last week a friend made pots di creme in the actual purpose pots she got from her mother. Fabulous! You just need imagination... and storage!

  • Izzy Mn

    Plates with gold or silver can't be used in the microwave. Accidentally used a plate with some on it. Sparks flew, popping sound and scorched a few spots on the plate, it was only in a few seconds. If I had walked away may have explode I think basing on what happened in a few seconds.

  • lindac92

    I wash gold trimmed plates in the's eithere that or not use it.....and there's no point in preserving something to end up at Good Will.

  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!

    I went down a China, crystal, and silver rabbit hole and discovered a Chicago shop that sells the most expensive tableware I could imagine. Kneen & Co. They have some incredibly beautiful things. I wish I knew who was buying things like that, because though those prices are orders of magnitude out of my league, at least some people out there care about dishes ;-)

    If money were no object ... Dreamy dishes

  • Martha Scott

    Linda -- I did look on the bowls and they are both marked. It's hard to see and you have to hold them just right but they are. I was referring to my goblets that I don't see a mark on. But perhaps it's there and not obvious! Most bought from real shops (not Tuesday Morning). Oh, and that original purchase at TM -- I do understand what you're saying . . . but it was in the early Tuesday Morning days when they got stuff from businesses going out of business, etc. And they were closed for a month or two at a time while they accumulated stuff. That day they didn't have a lot of any one kind of Waterford. In fact, I think the bowl I bought was the only one that was that style. If it was a knock off, they would have bought cases!

  • maifleur01

    I too have washed dishes with rims in the dishwasher with no problem.

  • lindac92

    And I have bought dishes with worn off gold at auctions that you know never saw a dishwasher...

  • Helen

    What difference at this point does it make whether the gold will wear off in a dishwasher. Unless one is talking about highly valuable stuff which is unlikely, just use it and enjoy it while you are alive.

    I inherited the Limoges china from my grandmother - Bernardaud from probably the 1930's. It's pretty but I know that it's not exceptionally valuable because the market is absolutely glutted with sets like mine. No one in my family wants it - I literally could not give it away so I am using it - more or less. I say more or less because I don't have a lifestyle either where I need 16 places including multiple size plates and bowls - various tureens - jam pots etc.

    I am surprised no one has mentioned the recent New York Times article - When Antiques Go - which discusses the reality of the decline in interest and consequently value of "antique" stuff as the market is glutted.

    Obviously there are some rare pieces which retain some value although less than what they would have brought a decade or so ago but the bulk of the nice "middle class" stuff that is likely to have been in my people's homes really has no value except the decorative - if. you like it, use it because it might actually be less expensive than a comparable new piece of furniture.

    I recently remodeled and redecorated and got rid of a lot of stuff that had accumulated through the years - some of which I inherited and kept from a sense of guilt and sentiment. I got rid of quite a bit and discovered that mine had essentially no market value but was lucky enough to home it to a friend's family who needed furniture. Mine was mostly in the category of very nice Victorian type of stuff - probably late 19th Century.

    I did retain those items which I still liked and pretty much those were those items which I had purchased and liked and continued to like. I was pretty consistent in liking Art Deco and Art Nouveau. But they are interspersed with new items although ironically most of my new items are Art Deco inspired - at least I am consistent. But none of the heavy brown furniture remains.

    While the article discusses staging in terms of prospective buyers not being able to get pass old fashioned cluttered spaces, I think the gist of the article is on the difficulty of getting rid of stuff when the time comes - for whatever reason - when one no longer wants or needs what one has accumulated.

    When Antiques Have To Go

  • Cindi

    Martha, so neat you found the identical bowl after so many years! I always think when those things happen there must be a meaning, lol. The bowls are so pretty.
    I would have been so happy.

    Martha Scott thanked Cindi
  • Annegriet

    I have a house full of items (china, crystal, furniture, lladro, etc.) that I inherited from various family members. I just gave away 16 place settings of China--I kept the other 16. I probably only need 8 and even then it's highly unlikely I'll use those. It was sad--they meant so much to my Mom and Grandma who both entertained fancy all the time.

  • C Marlin

    I read it is the detergent used in the dishwasher that harms the china, I bought some type without lemon scent that supposed to be gentle.

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