Last spring my husband Frank and I bought several boxes of items made by the Imperial Glass Corporation in 1982. To our complete surprise, among them were seven black animals made from Heisey molds all marked ALIG.
Being way down here in Texas, it's hard to keep up with what's going on in "glass country" so I called Mr. Bob Burns in the Collector's Shop at Imperial to find out about these. He said that a few black animals had been made as "feasibility items" and sent to Imperial showrooms over the nation. He did not know exactly how many were made or when they were made. Hoping to obtain more specific information I wrote to each of the showrooms. Of the six that responded only those in the Boston showroom remembered seeing any black animals.
Louise Ream, Executive Director of the Heisey Museum, remembered seeing some black animals at the factory as early as February, 1982. She was kind enough to write and tell me that there were a few in the cabinets on the lower level of the Museum, along with most of the new animals made by Imperial from Heisey molds.
The photo below left, is the Airedale and the Tiger paperweight. The tiger paperweight is the same as one of the 705 made available by HCA and was the only black Heisey animal that went into late production.
Below right is the photo of the medium elephant and the pig. These animals have been fire polished and are of good quality.
The photo at top left shows the Donkey and in the one above right you see the very elegant and proud giraffe and gazelle. There were duplicates in crystal of the Airedale, pig and gazelle.
It would be nice to hear from anyone who has one or knows more about these black Heisey by Imperial animals. There should be a few of these animals out there somewhere- so, happy hunting!