Figural Flower Frogs - Part III

By Shelley Cole
Issue # 371 - March 2004

This portion of the series on figural flower frogs covers the animals, most of which are birds. Let's start with a list of the various types of animal flower frogs:

Turtle - First seen in one of the Nearcut catalogues (1914) on a page showing Ebony glass (pictured at right). The earliest version had a flat top. It was not seen in catalogues during the 1930s but it reappeared in the 1940's with a domed top and the item number 70. Described as 3.5" with 19 holes for flowers. Also known in Crystal, Crown Tuscan, Royal Blue and a dark green.

From the September 24, 1914 issue of Crockery and Glass Journal ... "The Cambridge Glass Company will undoubtedly have a good demand for the new flower holders which D. King Irwin (Cambridge's New York rep) has just placed on display. They include low, squat shaped bowls to be used in conjunction with a glass holder in the form of a turtle representing the reptile in the act of swimming through the water. Numerous round openings hold the flowers."

Eagle - very little is known about this flower holder. It came out sometime in the 1920s. It had no descriptive name associated with it so we have dubbed it the Eagle. The bird sits perched on a tree stump. This figural flower frog stands about 5.5".

Cockatoo - as referred to by Bill Smith in his Flower Holders article in C.B. #34. At that point and at the Cambridge Animals presentation in November 2001, there is question as to whether this piece is Cambridge. However, since the quality of glass and color of glass coincide with Cambridge, it is believed to be made by Cambridge. Other similarities between it and the Eagle also point to its being Cambridge Glass. The base is identical to the base used on the Eagle and it stands about the same height. There is at least one example in the National Museum of Cambridge Glass.

Herons - from Bill Smith's article in C.B. #41:

"The #1111 is the oldest of the three figures and is possibly the most desirable if one judges in terms of workmanship. It stands 12 inches high and has a type 2 (smooth) base.

"Production of this figure started in the late 1920's. It was mentioned in an article that appeared in China, Glass and Lamps as being a new product of the Cambridge company at that time. Our earliest catalog reference is the new 1930-1934 Reprint that shows this item on page J. This page would be from late 1930. It also appears in the 1940 catalog which would indicate that it was produced for at least 11 or 12 years.

"The early pieces from this mold had excellent detailing. One can distinguish four distinct feather types on the figure. The rushes that are used to help provide support for the figure are also identifiable as Cattails. As the usage of the mold continued much of the finer detailing was lost.

"This figure is a very complimentary companion piece to the Swan motif Everglade pieces which also show the Heron and Cattail details as part of their general design.

"The #1136 and #W-119 were both made from the same mold so the description will cover both figures.

"These figures are only 9 inches high, have a Type 3 (ribbed) base and no fine detailing. The foliage utilized to provide the additional support has been stylized to a degree and has lost it's identity as a particular type of plant.

"Our first reference to the #1136 is the 1940 catalog. The mold number would seem to indicate introduction shortly after the #1111, but this apparently is not the case. We find additional reference to this figure in the June 1949 and the Sept. 1950 catalogs. It was quite possibly one of the items that were carried until the close of the factory.

"The #W-119 designation was given to the Milk Glass production. Mr. W. C. Orme informed us at a past Convention that Milk Glass was introduced in 1953 and that it was produced until the factory closed. From this we know that the mold was still in use, whether they were running other than Milk Glass, we do not know for sure.

"Our reference material does not indicate that there were any of these figures produced in colors."

Blue Jay - Not much has been written about this flower holder. It has been seen in crystal, moonlight, forest and mandarin gold. The example in my collection shows some detail on the wings, tail and crown as well as defined feet holding onto a smooth stump. This figure was also used as a peg insert with the Cambridge Arms sets.