Cambridge Rubina

by Russell Vogelsong
Issue 65 - September  1978

This fine color line of Cambridge Glass was introduced to the public January 25, 1925. Some of the names given to this glass thru the years are unbelieveable. I have heard this glass called Amberina, Blurina, Christmas Glass, Watermelon Glass, Multi Glass, and Alexandrite.

We have received information from an old glass trade journal describing Cambridge Rubina upon its introduction. The article reads exactly as follows:

"Living up to its reputation of introducing each January most interesting developments in table and decorated glassware, the Cambridge Glass Company of Cambridge, Ohio, has on display in Room 728 Rubina bowl at the Fort Pitt Hotel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, unusual lines and a new color glass called Rubina.

This new Rubina glass can be had both plain and optic. New shapes in comports, bowls, vases, candlesticks and other pieces have been developed.

Especially attractive is the refreshment set in Rubina. The new glass is not one color, but a natural three or more tone glass, in which the predominating shades are red, green and blue. Each tone is diverging into the other."

Although this description was accurate, it could not describe what is seen with the naked eye. Colors flow into each other in a way that it is impossible to tell exactly where one color stops and another begins.

Rubina at this time is a semi-rare item and is not plentiful. Because of the color combination I am sure it was collected by people long before Cambridge Glass was even considered a collectors item.

Usually when Rubina is found at Antique Shops it is not priced cheap. Although bowls and comports seem to be the more common, there are certain items that demand and bring top prices, such as the Ramshead bowl, Dolphin candlesticks, etc.

One of the finest and rarest pieces of Rubina I have seen has been a 12" bowl in the Stratford pattern. I would have to say this piece is "Super Rare". More Rubina will surface in the years to come and accordingly the prices will continue to elevate.

A Point of View

While we are talking about Cambridge glass having two or more shades, I would like to elaborate on Carmen Red Glass. If you have seen or own Cambridge Carmen Red, you know that many pieces will have an amber or yellow tone in them. Many people have chosen to loosely interpret the word, Amberina.

Many times we will see items priced and labeled Cambridge Amberina, that are Carmen Red with gold tones and are very high priced. The only thing I can say is Carmen Red is Carmen Red and Amberina is another color.

When Amberina is made with the intention of having a two-tone effect it is called Amberina. I don't consider a Carmen Red item that has a yellow tone in the bottom of it Amberina and neither do the people who collect Cambridge Glass.

(Reprinted from Vogelsong Newsletter, Vol. I, No. 6, December 30, 1971.)