Lyre Candlestick

by Mark Nye
Issue No. 352 - August 2002

On June 30 1939 the Cambridge sales force was informed of a revised Lyre candlestick and the following week of a new epergne. These two circular letters read as follows:

Lyre Candelabrum June 30, l939
Circular Letter #147
To All Agents:

We have revised the Lyre Candlestick and a new sample is being sent to you.

This will now be known as #1442 10½ in. Candelabrum (#19 bobeches and 15 #1 3 in. prisms).

The list price for this is $105.00 per dozen.

Yours truly,
The Cambridge Glass Company
W. C. McCartney

July 6, 1939
Circular Letter #151
To All Agents:

We have made a new Epergne by using the new #1442 Candelabra with two arms and four vases.

This is, of course, not an inexpensive one but we have sold nice quantities of the large 1441 Epergne and we think that this new one is better looking than it.

The number is 1478 and the price is $l50.00 per dozen list.

We will not send sample unless requested, but you can show this by taking the arms and vases from your #1358 and #645 Epergne. Illustration is being made and will be forwarded to you very soon.

Add to Epergne price list as follows: 1478-2 lite (2 #1438 Arms Lyre Epergne and 2 #l9 bobeche with 16 #1-3 in. prisms, 4 vases) at $150.00 per dozen list.

Yours truly,
H.A. Lovelady

The original lyre candlestick appears on catalog pages dating to circa 1930-1937. It came with shell bobeches and No. 2 prisms and in addition to being illustrated on a page of candlesticks and candelabra, was also shown with the Caprice pattern. The only available copies of these pages are from microfiche and are extremely poor, the illustrations, in most instances, being barely visible. (Apparently, the filming was not carefully done and it is also possible the originals were not in good condition.) None of the caption is readable on either page nor are most of the details of the candlestick itself discernible although enough can be made out to determine it is the lyre candlestick. What is visible is the base or foot, which was rectangular in shape and "stepped" on the original candlestick. A third page just showing the candelabrum is in somewhat better condition. Enough detail is visible to determine the original lyre candlestick did not have a finial and the rectangular shaped base is obvious. In addition, the candelabrum makes use of regular bobeches rather than shell shaped ones but still uses No. 2 prisms.

At the time of the revision to the lyre candlestick, this notation appeared in the journal used to record mold orders: "Lyre candlestick - changes as per drawing. Also cast foot." The latter refers to the removal of the rectangular shaped molded foot and the use of a cast foot, circular in shape and made without the use of a mold.

Although not mentioned in the Circular Letter announcing the revised Lyre candlestick, a catalog type page was produced and distributed to the sales force. The available copy of it comes from the previously mentioned set of microfiche and due to its quality is not reprinted here. The original page was in the style of the 1940 catalog, white on black, and was issued prior to the publication of the 1940 catalog as was the illustration referred to in the Circular Letter announcing the new 1478 epergne. A copy of the catalog page also survives, again on microfiche, and not reprintable here. Neither of these two pages were incorporated into the 1940 catalog, issued some six months later.

When the catalog dated January 1, 1940, was issued, the 1442 candelabrum appeared in the candelabra section and the 1478 epergne is shown with epergnes and epergnettes. The candlestick itself was not pictured in the original 1940 issue. It wasn't illustrated until a supplemental page captioned "Candlesticks, Candelabra and Hurricane lamps" was issued a year later, June, 1941. Here it is captioned "1474 10½ in. 2-lite Regency Candlestick."

By the time the next Cambridge catalog was issued eight years later, the lyre candlestick was no longer in the line.