Welcome to Book Report Sunday. Tonight is my favorite reference book for elegant glass, Elegant Glass: Early, Depression, & Beyond by Coe & Coe.
Elegant glass is “good glass”, the sort that people bought at jewelry and high end department stores, by makers like Fostoria, Cambridge, Heisey. It took skilled artisans to produce this glassware because it took quite a bit of hand work. Seams were minimized by fire polishing and bottoms were ground. The etching and cut decorations were done on each piece individually.
If you want detailed coverage of one specific manufacturer you can find books that cover only one company. I counted at least nine books about Fostoria Glass and there are about that many about Cambridge too. This book covers patterns from many companies from the 1920s through the 1970s.
Good Points about this Book:
- Excellent clear photos
- Comprehensive lists of pieces.
- Dimensions are given for almost everything. For example goblets are given in terms of the volume they hold and height which is very helpful
- The value guide is realistic. Of course it is too high sometimes and too low for others but in general this is reasonably good and very useful.
- I like the way it shows the different colors and gives values for those.
- It makes no pretense to try and put a dollar price on extremely rare pieces especially on very popular patterns
- The book includes glass from the depression era through the 1970s. Other general elegant books limit themselves to certain eras only
Could Be Improved:
- Of course more patterns would be even better.
- I would like to see more descriptive information. For example, Cambridge etched Rose Point on at least five different blanks and it would be great to see them photographed together so you can get a feel for the distinctive characteristics of each. The price list includes the blank numbers but you have to hunt around to find a picture that will show the blank.
Overall this is a superb book that you need if you intend to collect, enjoy or sell elegant glass. I rely on this book as one of my primary reference tools. The link above is an affiliate link.