La Touraine - Line No. 2719

by Mark Nye
Issue No. 351 - July 2002

A note published in the January 11, 1912 Issue of Crockery & Glass Journal describing the Cambridge exhibit at the 1912 Pittsburgh show included the following comment: "In tableware lines the rock crystal strawberry pattern and the diamond bordered colonial ware are excellent." The following week's issue contained this comment: "William Dealing has received (at the New York show rooms) three new and attractive lines in pressed glass from the Cambridge Glass Co., one of the designs, bearing a diamond border on Colonial shape, is particularly good and cannot fail to receive the favorable attention of buyers.

China Glass and Lamps, in its January 6, 1912 write-up of the Cambridge Glass Co. display at the 1912 Pittsburgh show included the statement: "Another handsome feature of the display is the new La Tourrene line modeled after the famous old French pattern and made in an infinite variety of articles." This write-up included illustrations of a bowl and goblet from the line and they are shown at left. The La Touraine items spelling of the line's name as given in this paragraph is as it appeared in the trade journal write-up.

Based on these trade journal reports, it appears that Nearcut Line No. 2719, known as La Touraine, was introduced in January 1912. Later that year, the 9 oz. goblet was illustrated in a full page Cambridge advertisement published in the October 14, 1912 issue of China Glass and Lamps. No additional mention of the La Touraine line is found in subsequent issues of the two major trade journals.

Unfortunately for today's collectors the line, as a whole, apparently never made it into a Cambridge catalog, or at least into any of the ones we are aware of today. The only known Cambridge catalog illustration of the La Touraine line is of a single piece, the straw jar and cover (shown at right in picture). It appears on a page captioned "Soda Fountain Supplies" in a catalog issued circa 1916-1917. This catalog describes itself on the cover as: "General Catalog Pressed and Iron Mold Blown Glassware." Since this catalog did show complete lines, this absence of the La Touraine line probably indicates it had been discontinued by the time the catalog was issued.

It has been the author's experience that little La Touraine is found today. The single piece in the author's collection, a two handled sugar, minus its lid, is signed NEAR CUT, the words being one above the other.

It has been only recently that any sort of a listing of the pieces included in the line has been assembled. The listing we now have comes from a ledger book found in the basement of the Imperial Glass Co. factory not long before it was torn down. In poor condition and very fragile, it is obvious the book had several uses over the years, none of which were entirely clear. One possible use may have been to record a physical inventory taken circa 1920. The listing for the La Touraine line, as presented here, is taken from that book and may or may not represent the complete line as it was offered in 1912.

  • Wine tray
  • Tall celery
  • Basket
  • Celery tray
  • Vase, 8"
  • Vase, 10"
  • Straw jar & cover
  • comport, 4½"
  • Jelly
  • Pickle tray
  • Sherbet, shape A
  • Sherbet, shape C
  • Handled sherbet, shape A
  • Handled sherbet, shape B
  • Candlestick
  • Finger bowl & plate
  • Butter & cover
  • Sugar & cover
  • Cream
  • Ind. sugar & cream
  • Nappy 4"
  • Nappies, assorted sizes
  • Nappy, 7" E shape
  • Nappy, 8" A shape
  • Cabaret plate, 7"
  • Cabaret plate, 10"
  • Almonds
  • Jugs
  • Saucer champagne
  • Goblet
  • Wine
  • Stemware, assorted
  • Ice tea, 10 oz.
  • Ice tea, 11 oz.
  • Ice tea, l2 oz.

The molds for the complete line were junked in 1940, the only notation being "complete lines junked" followed by a list of line numbers. We will probably never know the complete extent of the La Touraine line.