Patterns - Caprice, Part V

by Bill Smith
Issue No. 48 April 1977

Conclusion!! Not to the total Caprice story, nor to the many collections that will still continue to grow, just the conclusion to this series of articles.

We have reached that point where the volume of new information will not warrant the time and space required.

In these articles we have attempted to bring you the majority of the Caprice story. There will, perhaps, always be some additional bit of new material to add, such as additional item numbers, a few additional catalog pictures, and always the non-production color usages. Perhaps an update will become worthwhile at some time in the future.

One area that we have not to-date covered in this series is that of Non-Cambridge Caprice items. We will now try to shed a little ray of light on those items.

Most of you must be aware by now, that the Cambridge Company was purchased after it's closing by the Imperial Glass Co. of Bellaire, Ohio. Their purchase included molds and trade marks as well as existing stocks that was still in the plant. All except the pharmaceutical line of production.

These molds were moved to the Bellaire plant and the Imperial Company has continued the production of many of the patterns that were developed by Cambridge. One of these is the Caprice pattern. The full line has not been continued, but several individual items have been made by Imperial. One item that we see quite often is the #165 3 Footed Candy Box and Cover. This has been made in crystal, amber, antique blue, sunshine yellow, and lt. green. The colors are very easily recognized as non-Cambridge. The crystal is another story. We do not have any sure way of distinguishing a late Cambridge item from an Imperial item.

Some of these Imperial items were identified by a paper label which carried the wording, "Cambridge" by Imperial.

The other area of confusion that we will address is in regard to decorated Caprice.

It is known that Cambridge did decorate some Caprice. We have seen #1338 3 Lite Candleholders with the Rosepoint etching. We have also seen some pieces of Caprice with a thin gold line around the rim. However, we have seen no evidence that Cambridge produced any of the silver and gold overlay items that we see fairly often.

We are of the belief that all of these items can be attributed to the Silver City Glass Co. of Meridan, Connecticut.

In a letter from this company dated in 1973, we find the following information, "items currently used by our firm have been copied from the "Caprice" pattern by other glass manufacturing firms, and are not products of the Imperial Glass Co."

"We did in past years, when Cambridge was in business, utilize a variety of the Cambridge blanks in our work. We did not at any time in recent years use anything but the crystal pieces. The items of Cambridge manufacture that were used were for our own purposes and were not done for the Cambridge Glass Company themselves. They were to us a supplier of raw material."

Springtime and Flanders The catalog which was enclosed with the letter pictured four patterns on Caprice type blanks. These patterns were Flanders, Lace, and Springtime in Sterling Silver, and the same floral arrangement that was used for Flanders was called Hampton when overlayed with 22K Gold. (See figures 1 and 2)

Due to poor copy quality we were unable to reproduce the Lace Pattern. Our hopes are that this will suffice to give you an idea of the style of decorations that this company produces. We feel sure that over the years that there must have been many more patterns used by this company.

So ends our present portion of the Caprice story. It has been very interesting and a lot of fun getting this series together. We are hopeful that you Caprice collectors have been able to find the answers to many of your questions. We also hope that we have not bored those of you with other collecting interests. Perhaps someday even you might become interested in collecting this beautiful pattern.

We would appreciate hearing from any of you that would have additional information or questions regarding this pattern.  Collect CAPRICE