Two of the more unique and painstakingly detailed pieces featured in the Replacements, Ltd. museum are these tropical fish figurines and candleholders. Each tropical fish figurine features three fish swimming near a sea plant. The base of each piece is designed to look like a wave to add to the aquatic affect of the piece. The tropical fish were designed by Royal Hickman and released by Heisey between 1948 and 1949. Each of these figurines is valued between $2,000 and $4,000. Heisey released the tropical fish figurines in a variety of colors. Many of the tropical fish figurines produced by Heisey also feature a frosted look as opposed to the clear pieces shown here.
These figurines were extremely popular during the war and post-war periods of the 20th century. Several of America’s glassmakers produced the animal collections. The fervor for collecting glass animals was further increased by the 1944-45 production of Tennessee William’s play, The Glass Menagerie. In his play, Williams used a glass menagerie to represent the fragile lives of the play’s main characters, Laura, Amanda, and Tom. Williams once remarked that the glass menagerie in the play had to be delicate and beautiful like the lives of the play’s characters. When the play opened on Broadway, the producers went to great lengths to display an astonishing array of glass animals. The original run of the play only featured animals produced by Heisey and Viking companies.
These candlesticks were also designed by Royal Hickman. Each candlestick ranges in price from $225 to $300. Released in 1948, these pieces became instant sales success. The company later designed an accompanying match holder that is exactly one half the size of the candlesticks. If you would like to learn more about the history of the Heisey Glass Co., then click here. If you would like to see a list of Heisey’s patterns, then please click here.