Cambridge Rainbow - Windsor Blue

by Lynn Welker
Issue 34 - February 1976

This month I'm offering a color to cheer you up on a dreary, winter day - WINDSOR BLUE. I'm certain a piece of Windsor Blue would bring a little sunshine into everyone's day. I know it would brighten up mine.

Windsor Blue is a pale opaque, milky-blue that favors aqua just a little. The color varies from piece to piece in intensity from a very pale milk blue to a rich aqua blue. Windsor Blue has just recently been identified as the name for this color - it was previously referred to simply as Blue-Milk. Please be careful to distinguish this color from Azurite. It is a more pale and less vibrant color than Azurite, yet it is a very striking and unusual color.

Windsor Blue was introduced during the mid-1930's (probably 1935) and was discontinued well before 1940. It had a very short-lived production span which accounts for its rarity and desirability. It ranks high on the list of most Cambridge glass collectors. Not only is it a desirable color - it is a royal color - named after the royal family of England, the Windsors. Mr. Bennett (then President of Cambridge Glass) loved England, which may have influenced the use of this name for this beautiful color.

Its short production span is matched by its limited production in terms of different items in different lines produced. At this time, production of Windsor Blue known is almost entirely limited to the Seashell and Statuesque lines. The items known are: Nude Lady center bowl, Nude Lady candlestick (with or without crystal bobeches & prisms), Nude Lady compote {7 in. & 8 in.), Nautilus Seashell vase the 8 in. and 10 in. Seashell center bowls (three footed), the 8 in. oval Seashell bowl (four footed), several sizes of Seashell compotes, including the covered Seashell candy compote, the 7½ in. Seashell vase in the shape of a Nautilus shell (shown at left), the 2½ and 4 in. Seashell ash trays (both sizes of these have been seen in a very few rare instances with candle cups on the bottom of the inside), the small (3½ in. long) cigarette box with dolphin feet and the 10 in. Seashell footed cornucopia vase.

The only exceptions known that are not in the Seashell or Statuesque lines, are the ~ Pear whimsey {probably a Christmas ornament) and the two-light ring candlesticks (picture at right). Two-light Ring candlestick Pieces that have not been seen but that are probable are: the small (5½ in. high) Nude Lady compote, the large (5 in. long) Seashell dolphin footed cigarette box, and the small footed Seashell vase in the shape of a Nautilus shell. Please let me know if you have seen any of these or any not listed, so that these pieces can be published in your CRYSTAL BALL.

All of the compotes seen to date, in this color, have been signed, including the large Nude Lady compote - although this is rarely signed in Crown Tuscan. The signature is the molded Triangle C which appears on the inside of the piece right below the flat part of the shell. The other pieces are not signed.

There are many plain vases in various shapes and sizes in a very similar color, but most of these that are known should he attributed to the McKee Glass Company. Although Cambridge made similar shapes in these vases, the current thought is that they are McKee.

I hope this New Year brings you a piece of WINDSOR BLUE to brighten your day and your collection.