We have had a large volume of Emails asking our opinion concerning identification and valuation of items by Email photo and/or from photos on the various auction sites. It is often very difficult to make a determination without seeing and handling the piece in person. When this web site was conceived, we never thought about the fact that there are very few reliable sources on the net for Steuben collectors to go to get answers to their questions. The major books on Carder Steuben are, of course, Paul Gardner's THE GLASS OF FREDERICK CARDER and the recent FREDERICK CARDER AND STEUBEN GLASS by Tom Dimitroff. Both give excellent histories of Carder and his Steuben glass. The Gardner book is great for shape identification, with Dimitroff's work being outstanding in the areas of color, patterns on Steuben glass including cut and "acid cut back" patterns, and a very fine explanation of the factors that should be taken into consideration when purchasing a piece of Steuben (condition, color, type of glass, etc.). This book also contains a value guide (yes, we do realize that it is two years old). Remember, a guide is just what it says it is; only a guide. The prices are not set in stone!! Many factors come into play when trying to determine the value of a piece. We realize that Gardner's book is out of print and very expensive if you can find a copy for sale. However, Dimitroff's book is currently in print and is available from the Rockwell Museum in Corning, N. Y. We suggest that either of these books (preferably both) would be a prudent investment for the collector or would-be collector. Many questions are answered by in-depth research. We do not always refer to a "book value" when we are purchasing a piece. The first consideration, in our opinion, should be whether one likes the piece. We have paid above "book" for pieces that we liked and wanted in our collection. We have also turned down pieces that were well below "book value" because they did not particularly appeal to our personal tastes. Finally, if you question the validity of a piece, it is probably a good idea to pass on it until you can make a definitive determination as to its manufacturer. Remember, there are many pieces out in the market misidentified as Steuben, whether by honest mistake or by attempt to defraud. KNOW YOUR DEALER AND GET AN UNCONDITIONAL GUARANTEE OF AUTHENTICITY. If we can be of help in any way, please feel free to Email us at the address below.