Hooray for Heisey

Glass is a fascinating subject for some people, me included. I’ve always wondered who it was that first noticed that you can make a beautiful and fragile piece of glass from super-heated sand. Actually they have dated some of the earliest hollow glass pieces to 1500 B.C. (See here). I just find that incredible.

Heisey Glass Cruet Art Deco Style

I happened to find this piece of Heisey glass and listed it in my store recently. I always research my pieces so this is where my research on this cruet led me.

Based on the mark, a capital H within a diamond, the piece was by A.H. Heisey & Company.

I found an amazing amount of information on Heisey at the National Heisey Glass Museum. According to the Museum, the founder of the company, Augustus H. Heisey, was born in 1842 in Germany but immigrated here with his family in 1843. He got into the glass business as a clerk at King Glass Company of Pittsburgh.

Heisey berry bowl
Heisey Berry Bowls

Shortly after that he enlisted in the Union army during the American Civil War, fighting for the North. He managed to survive his 3-year tour and exited the army as a Captain. He had a few jobs in different glass companies during which time he met his future wife, Susan Duncan, the daughter of the owner of Ripley Glass Company which was later changed to George Duncan & Sons.

Heisey Sugar & Creamer

As the Heisey Museum education page states, Augustus briefly tried mining out west but began plans while there for his own glass company. He opened Heisey Company in Newark, Ohio in 1896 with one 16-pot furnace.

heisey moon
Heisey Glass in Moongleam

The company grew to 3 furnaces eventually and employed over 700 people. His company was known around the world for their quality glass.

The diamond H trademark that can be seen here

Heisey Trademark Registered 1901

was designed by Heisey’s son, George Duncan Heisey. His father was very proud of that design and had it registered and impressed on almost all their glass pieces. A number of pieces had a foil sticker with the trademark that, over the years may have become loose and fallen off, leaving the pieces unmarked. The quality of the glass will help to identify it as will the pattern.

heisey saratoga
Heisey Glass in Ruby Flash

Augustus Heisey died in 1922 and his son, E. Wilson Heisey took over the reins. He ushered in a period of colored glass that is highly collectible.

Heisey Walter
Heisey Ball Vase circa 1930s

Colored glass went out of fashion by the 1940’s and then WWII curtailed the production of glass itself. By then T. Clarence Heisey was at the helm of the company. It was during his time that the very collectible Heisey figurines were created.

heisey rooster
Heisey Rooster Figurine

Unfortunately, as seems to be the story with so many old companies, the proliferation of foreign companies glutting the market with cheap glass put the Heisey company out of business. They closed for Christmas vacation in 1957 and never opened their doors again.

Definitely take time to visit the Heisey Museum website. They have videos and photographs of Heisey history and glass. It’s definitely worth the time to check it out!

Heisey candy dish
Heisey Candy Dish circa 1930s


I hope you have enjoyed learning a little about this great american glass company with me. If you get a chance, take a look around the Vintage Eve’s store for some great vintage glass pieces and leave me a note to say hi. Have a great New Year!


Wandering Through the Wedgwood

Many of us have at least heard of Wedgwood (yep, there is no second “e” in Wedgwood). We may even have admired a piece of it without knowing that it was Wedgwood.

Wedgwood Creamer in Josephine Pattern

Why is it famous? What is it about Wedgwood that makes it so collectible? Come on along and let’s find out.

First, Wedgwood is British. The company is named after its founder Josiah Wedgwood. According to the Wedgwood Company the company started in 1759 when Josiah became an independent potter out of Burslem, Staffordshire, England. He was 29 years old at the time.

Edwardian Wedgwood circa 1910

He liked to experiment with different types of clay and developed three of Wedgwood’s most distinct forms; Queen’s Ware in 1762, Black Basalt in 1768 and Jasper in 1774. People still love to collect these types of Wedgwood.

Queens Ware circa 1940s

He is called the “Father of English Potters” as his experiments led to an explosion of English pottery and put it in the mainstream.

Queen’s Ware is called such because it was literally a design of cream-colored earthenware that was commissioned by Queen Charlotte. She loved it.

queensware blue
Queens Ware with Wedgwood Blue Decoration

Catherine the Great of Russia wanted some, too. So much so that she requested a set of 952 hand-painted pieces with English scenery (Wedgwood.co.uk).

Jasperware is an interesting form.

Jasperware Sugar Bowl circa 1950s

It was created in 1774 after quite a few failed experiments. It is easily identifiable on sight. The Wedgwood website says it is an unglazed vitreous fine stoneware that was made in blue, green, lilac, yellow black or white. On top of which there were reliefs or 3D pieces in classical or modern themes.

lilac jasperware
Lilac Jasperware Salt & Pepper circa 1960s

Black Basalt is from reddish brown clay that turns black when fired. Noted by the Wedgwood Museum, it had manganese added to the clay which gave it a rich black color.  It is also unglazed like the Jasperware.

black basalt
Black Basalt Bowl circa 1800s

Why is Wedgwood so collectible? From the very beginning, Wedgwood designs and innovations were synonymous with quality. That has not changed. Wedgwood is still in production and it commands higher-end prices.


There are a number of other types of Wedgwood than just the three mentioned. There is Caneware which is pale yellow, Rosso Antico which is a type of red ware, Pearl Ware which is more white than the Cream Ware and is glazed.

Rosso Antico Cambridge Jug

All of them are beautiful and worth collecting. Check out the Wedgwood Society for more detail about all of these forms.

Pearlware Hand-Painted Plate

Thank you for taking a quick look at Wedgwood with me. If you want to find out more, the three websites referenced in this post will help you. There is a wealth of information still to unearth!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Come visit me at Vintage Eve’s and take a look around my shop for some old Wedgwood and more vintage treasures.




What is California Pottery?

To answer my title question, the answer is … there is no company named California Pottery. What?! Never was. Then why are there so many pieces marked California Pottery? Or Calif. U.S.A. or some variation of this name? No surprise here, the name basically tells us where the pottery was made. Now isn’t that helpful? No? Yeah, I get that.

California Originals Bowl

Apparently, there were any number of potters in California during the early to mid part of the 20th century. Many of them marked their pottery California pottery.

Some of those companies you may or may not have heard of. McCoy and Bauer, California Originals, Metlox, Weil and a host of others. You can see an extensive list at Calpotteries.com.

So you have a piece that is marked California U.S.A. and you want to know which pottery house made it. It may actually be near to impossible to figure that out. There are a few things you can do to narrow down the maker of your piece, though. According to Cajunc there are a few ways to figure out where your piece originated.

red calif pott
Red Pot Marked Calif. U.S.A.

The first way is to look for a name along with the California mark. If you had a name, however, that would be waaaaay too easy. You would not even need to read this post. However, in the event you are not given this very helpful information, you can keep reading.

Piece Marked Winfield 285
Winfield Pottery








The next thing you should look for is the clay.

calif pottery

Usually, on the bottom there are parts of unglazed clay. Whether they used firing pins in the kiln and there are 3 exposed dots of clay or there is a rim that is not glazed, that is where you would see the color of the clay. Red clay, pink clay, white, beige and sandy clay; they all come from different places.

calif pottery 3
Rooster Bowl Marked Calif USA

After you figure out the color of the clay, you can look at the way the underside is glazed.

calif usa
Rooster Bowl Marked Calif USA



Some companies chose to leave an unglazed rim, others have bars across the bottom, still others completely covered the bottom in glaze. Again these all help to narrow down which company made your piece. You can also get information from the glazes used. Certain colors were unique to specific pottery companies; whether they used a drip glaze such as the Hull brown drip that is very popular and very identifiable or another technique. Hull brown drip.jpg

Finally, there are miscellaneous identifiers such as the numbers and tools used that may have left marks behind.

The Cajunc website goes into much more detail and is a valuable resource in figuring out where your pottery originated.

Casserole Dishes Marked USA

This is such an interesting subject that has so many more layers. We have just scratched the surface as I have only given you a brief overview of how to begin finding information on a piece of pottery. The two websites mentioned in this post are great resources. Definitely sites that you should bookmark.

calif pottery 4
Vintage Yellow Pear California Pottery

Good luck and leave me a note if this has helped you in any way. I hope you all have a great week and enjoy the upcoming holidays! If you are looking for more vintage treasures, stop by my shop and take a look around at Vintage Eve’s.

Dressed in Dresden

Most people have heard of Dresden porcelain china. They know it is a high-end porcelain, it’s pretty and collectible. That is about what most people know about it, me included until I became curious when I ran into this little number below that I listed in my shop recently. It is quite pretty, hand-decorated and over a hundred years old. I hope I look this good at 100!

Dresden Chocolate Pot
Dresden Chocolate Pot circa 1910

I love this little chocolate pot. I dug around and this is what I found out about Dresden porcelain. According to Kovel’s, Dresden refers to the place the porcelain is made not the type of porcelain it is.

dresden bowl
Dresden Center Bowl

Collector’s Weekly states that Dresden, Germany is where the factory of an alchemist by the name of Johann Friedrich Böttger was founded in 1708. Although porcelain had been discovered by the Chinese as early as 100 B.C., the western world had still not been able to recreate the delicate white substance.  Böttger finally discovered a way to make a hard-paste porcelain made from a local mud mix of “Kaolin and Clay” (marks4antiques.com) which he began to produce in Meissen, Germany around 1710, where the factory had moved. 

Dresden Serving Dish
Dresden Serving Dish circa 180os

So the actual Dresden porcelain was produced in Meissen and these two names get mixed up. You will see the Meissen porcelain mark (crossed swords) and Dresden porcelain mark (crown) but both will be called Dresden. Since its creation, it began to be loved and desired by collectors. Once people knew the “recipe” it began to be made in other places. You will see West Germany, Bavaria, even Ireland Dresden.

During the war, most of the porcelain producers were completely destroyed in Germany and needed to be rebuilt. Collector’s Weekly says that Dresden kept over 200 porcelain-decorating  shops busy during World War II.

dresden couple2
Dresden Couple 

One of the more famous techniques that Dresden created was dipping real lace into liquid porcelain. They would then attach it to a figure and fire it. The real lace would burn up but leave behind an intricate and delicate porcelain lace. Dresses and clothing were imitated in this way making the pieces very detailed although a bit fragile.

Dresden porcelain is still highly collectible. It commands high prices as it has been synonymous with quality since its creation.

dresden plate
Dresden Place Settings

Unfortunately, when you are good, there are many forgers waiting to capitalize on your name.

Dresden dancers


Dresden is no exception. The crossed swords and AR mark have been among the most forged marks in the world. You need to check all the marks on your pieces to be sure you have Dresden porcelain.



I hope you have enjoyed learning about Dresden porcelain this week. Stop by Vintage Eve’s  and enjoy a little look into the past and say hi.

Have a great week!