Imperial Reproductions of Heisey patterns

by Ben Shaeffer
Rainbow Review Glass Journal - April 1973

In the August 1, 1971 Newscaster Mr. Vogel has a section entitled Imperial Colors. He expresses the opinion that the most troublesome patterns, as far as colors go, using the Heisey molds are those of Whirlpool end Victorian. Quoting, "Imperial made some Whirlpool items in Verde (green), Cobalt (blue), Heather (amethyst), Ruby (red), Amber, and possibly other colors. Their Heather color seems to give most collectors the most trouble. It will not compare favorably with any of the three Heisey amethyst colors: Alexandrite, Heliotrope, and Hawthorne. The complete passage should be read so as to get the full meaning of Mr. Vogel's thoughts on this subject. The part quoted got us thinking about Imperial reproduction of Heisey patterns and the colors Imperial used.

At one time or another, Imperial has produced Waverly, Country Club, Coleport, Southwind, Moonglo, Provincial tumblers, Rose, Orchid, Provincial Stemware, Cabochon, Oxford, Lariat, 0ld Williamsburg, Crystolite, Revere and a number of general items including candelabra parts as listed in the 1959 Catalog reprint of Imperial published by the Heisey Collectors. The colors named in the Imperial Catalog are Crystal, Steigel green, Ruby, Cobalt Blue, Verde, Amber and Heather. A 1971 Catalog lists a wide variety of items, 41 to be exact, in the Old Williamsburg pattern in Crystal and 6 items including a 9oz goblet, 6 oz sherbet, a Claret, 12 oz ice tea, 12 oz ice tea footed and an 8" plate in the colors Amber, Antique Blue, Azalea, Blue Haze, Nut Brown, and Verde.

Just because Imperial used some Heisey molds, the Heisey collector should not ban those Heisey patterns. However, if it is Heisey the collector wants he should be forewarned and advised of the pitfalls. There is no substitute for complete familiarity of the subject, Heisey in this case, and to know what the pretenders are up to. There are completely dishonest attempts at misrepresentation, however, the Imperial Glass Corp. has, I believe, exercised admirable restraint in not trading off the Heisey name. If you are to purchase Heisey glass in color, then it is best to know what the Heisey colors look like and how they are different from the Imperial colors. The crystal pieces pose more of a problem. The Heisey trademark, black light, quality of glass, known pieces produced by Heisey and Imperial are some ways of weeding out the spurious. These methods, too, are not always infallible.

Collecting is always a challenge and a learning experience. So that the reader can see for himself, part of tho 0ld Williamsburg line by Imperial is shown below.

Old Williamsburg