Waterford Seahorse Trademark

The seahorse is the trademark of Waterford Crystal. Legend has it, that in 1947 when Mr. Bill Dolfin was the Personnel Manager of Waterford, he decided that Waterford needed a distinctive label for their crystal. A suggestion was made that one of the two supports, one being a lion the other a sea creature, that were present on the Waterford City Coat of Arms, be modified into an image to suit the label.

This sea creature on the right hand side of the Coat of Arms is a heraldic creation, which symbolises Waterford maritime connections. (In the middle ages Waterford was Ireland's largest port). There was some uncertainty at the time, as to what kind of sea creature it exactly was, when Bill Dolfin quickly declared, that the sea creature was in fact a dolphin. It was no secret at the time, that, as he shared a similar sounding name to the said sea creature, he believed his association with Waterford Crystal would live on in posterity.

The general consensus was, that the sea creature had little similarity in appearance to a dolphin, but did bear vague resemblance to a seahorse. Mr. Havel, Waterford’s Chief Designer from the early 1940's, who was born in Czechoslovakia, proffered two very convincing reasons as to why the seahorse would be far more appropriate for the Waterford symbol.

Firstly, that the curved shape of the seahorse would lend itself far more artistically to the type of label he had in mind to design. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, was the fact that the seahorse was a truly original and unique sea creature, given that the male seahorse was the carrier during reproduction, unlike any other sea life.

Because Waterford was also considered unique in its beauty, it was agreed that the designing of the original Waterford Crystal symbol would be based on the concept of a "Sea Creature" similar to a Seahorse. The Seahorse was well chosen because its uniqueness perfectly represented Waterford Crystal.

The symbol was further developed over the years and in 1986, it was decided that, although now well known, the symbol needed refinement to conform to the more stringent design concept of the times. So it was decided to define the Seahorse shape that is seen today.