Four Steps to Identify Glass – Heisey Crinoline Etched Stemware

Linda C shared photos of her unknown etched crystal.  The stems have a unique treatment at the top, right under the bowl, and at the bottom just above the foot. They look like little curls or nubs in a progressive pattern.

Linda C's Unknown Etched Crystal STemware

Linda C’s Unknown Etched Crystal Stemware

I couldn’t make out the etched design at all on the picture, but the decoration on the stem was a good clue.  Many stemware lines have nubs or texture on the stem, but there are not many patterns that have matching nubs on both top and bottom of the stem with a plain section between.

I checked out Fry and Central although neither of those made stems with nubs like that. Then I remembered a stem we got in a box lot that was Danish Princess by Heisey, on the Symphone blank. It’s been a few years but I recalled Symphone had a design on the top and bottom of the stem.

Ah ha! Struck gold on Heisey using the book Crystal Stemware Identification Guide by Bob Page and Dale Frederiksen, the owners of There it is on page 148, the Symphone blank, number 5010. Linda sent another shot of the pattern up close; it’s a pretty design of flowers tied with a ribbon. (The etch structure made me think of Fry, which is why I started there although I was pretty sure the stem was not Fry shape.)

Linda C's Unknown Pattern Close Up - Heisey Crinoline Etched Crystal

Linda C’s Unknown Pattern Close Up – Heisey Crinoline Etched Crystal

The pattern plus the stem shape then coalesced into the identification. Linda has a set of Heisey Crinoline etched crystal stemware, made from 1939 to 1950. Although Heisey glass in general commands higher prices than some other makers’, this is not a super popular pattern and Linda’s stems are in the $17 to $20 range on Replacements and are listed at around $25 on eBay.

Let’s look at the method here:

  1. Look at the stem shape and the etch for clues as to maker.  Even if the etch is new to you, the shape of the goblet may be unique or point you in the right direction.
  2. (Hopefully) Memory jogs and provides a few possible glass companies.  Check out the stem shape via books like Crystal Stemware Identification Guide
  3. Once you find the stem shape, then check the etches that maker put on the stem.
  4. Check Replacements or pattern books to find the specific pieces in question.

I like to use Replacements to figure out what specific pieces are – water goblet or wine goblet, iced tea or footed water, cocktail or sherbet – because they have measurements. Good luck with your identification challenges!

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