I used to go to auctions where the auctioneers called every piece of pretty glass “Fostoria’ – unless it was marked with that H in a Diamond for Heisey. Heisey Glass has a mystique about it yet there are not a ton of reference books that show all the patterns with price guides. Of the several Heisey books I have this one, Heisey Glass, 1896-1957: Identification and Value Guide by Neila and Tom Bredehoft is my favorite.
The Bredehofts arranged this book by production year, then patterns within each year. The book is quite useful to help you identify glass although the pictures are not as clear and some patterns lack close ups. Most of the photos are from catalogs. That’s good because the catalogs show the range of pieces. For example page 180 shows the full stem line in the Number 3357 King Arthur shape. The downside is some pictures are tiny and difficult to see the design. Just opposite the nice layout for the King Arthur stems is a tiny photo of the Cleopatra etching. The etch is very hard to see and the photo has a lot of glare.
Just for grins I checked one of my obscure Heisey pieces, the Dutchess etched sherbet. (Yes, Heisey spelled this with the T.) (I found the Dutchess stem in a very old original catalog that the Great Lakes Glass Club owns, and Replacements helped me confirm the identification.) Dutchess fits in this book’s timeline, made from 1919 to 1928, but it’s not in Bredehoft’s book. That’s not a slam against this book, simply a note that it is not fully complete.
Heisey Glass by Bredehoft is not as clear and easy to use as the Fostoria books by Long and Seate. For some reason all the Heisey books are a little hard to use. For example, I find some patterns confusing and hard to differentiate, such as the different panel patterns. None of the Heisey reference books explain the differences or help the reader figure out which is which. Explaining differences is a feature that I love in the Gene Florence or Coe and Coe books on elegant glass.
Like all glass books don’t take the prices as anything more than a best guess given the prices were last updated in 2005. Since 2005 we’ve seen glass prices increase, plummet and some glass prices are now slightly rising.
This is about the best of the Heisey books and I recommend it if you intend to browse auctions, estate sales or antique malls. I find that people usually don’t recognize unmarked Heisey and you can sometimes find little gems.