Punch Bowls and Sets 1940-58, Part I

by Mark A. Nye 
Issue No. 133 - May 1984

Many of us wish for adequate space to display our collections or perhaps the room to increase their size. Some collectors, due to space limitations, find themselves restricted to collecting miniatures. The ultimate in sufficient display capability would be room to collect and show punch bowls and punch sets.

In this series of articles we will be taking a look at just such a collection made up of punch bowls and sets made during the period 1940-58. It exists, of course, only on these pages, bur just think of all that space.

Remember, as you read these articles, several of the bowls and sets described were also made prior to 1940 and in colors and decorations not listed here.

During the period 1940 to 1958, at least seventeen different punch bowls were produced by Cambridge. The peak year was 1940 with twelve, followed by 1953 with seven. Among those years during which production is documented, 1949-50 had the least number of punch bowls being made; even so, five different ones were in the Cambridge line. The final price list issued in 1958 still featured six punch bowls.

Of the twelve punch bowls being made in 1940, four remained in the Cambridge line until the final closing in 1958. The ones that didn't make it were discontinued prior to 1949. All colored punch bowls, according to existing catalogs and price lists, were discontinued by the Fall of 1950, as were glass punch ladles. After that time, Cambridge stopped making punch ladles and utilized ones made of chrome. Now let us start looking at the collection.

The #3200 or Cut Wild Rose punch bowl had its origins in the Near Cut era and remained in the Cambridge line until the final plant closing. It is 12½" in diameter, holds 6 quarts, has a separate foot and was sold with or without this base. When combined with the foot, the overall height is 15". A matching 5 oz. punch cup was also made. The Cut Wild Rose 15-piece punch set is made up of the bowl, foot, 12 cups and a Tally-Ho #1402/111 punch ladle. In 1940, the set was available crystal and carmen, including the Tally-Ho ladle.

Next in our collection is the #2631 or Marjorie Punch set. Marjorie, in this instance, is the pressed pattern, not the etching. The Marjorie punch bowl measures 15" in diameter and holds 9 quarts. It too had its origin in the Near Cut era and came with or without a foot or base. The Marjorie punch set, like the Cut Wild Rose set, does not have an underplate and was made only in crystal during the 1940s and disappeared from the Cambridge line during the 1940s. The set included the bowl and base, along with 12 cups, also in the Marjorie pattern, and the Tally-Ho punch ladle.

The #2750 Colonial pattern is another Near Cut era design and the punch bowl from this line was being made in 1940. It was listed in crystal only, measures 15" in diameter and holds 9 quarts. Originally this bowl had a separate foot as well as an underplate and there are matching 5 oz punch cups. The punch set, as offered in the 1940 catalog, utilized the plate, not the foot, the Colonial punch cups and the Pristine #485 punch ladle. Sometime during the 1940s this set was dropped from the Cambridge line, as it does not appear in the 1949-53 NCC Catalog Reprint.

We move to another punch set offered in the 1940 catalog, the #2800, consisting of bowl, foot, 12 5 oz. punch cups and the Pristine punch ladle. Like the preceding sets, the #2800 also originated in the Near Cut era when the pattern was known as Community. The bowl holds 5 quarts, measures 13" in diameter and was sold with or without the foot. During the 1940s, the set was made in crystal only and was discontinued by 1949.

Enjoying a double listing in 1940 was the Gadroon or #3500/119 13" footed bowl. It was listed as a Tom & Jerry bowl in the Gadroon listings and as a punch bowl in the Punch Bowl section of the 1940 price list. The capacity of this bowl is 5 quarts and to make up the punch set, Cambridge used the regular Gadroon cup, #3500/1, the Tally-Ho or #1402/29 17½" cabaret plate, and the Pristine punch ladle. From the 1940 catalog, this set was available in crystal, plain or etched Elaine. The Gadroon line was introduced during the 1930s and from that period, you will find this set in color and other decorations. The Gadroon punch set was discontinued prior to 1940.

While the Cambridge swans were introduced in December 1928, the Swan punch set, the next stop in our collection first appears in the 1940 catalog. Introduction, however, may have taken place during the late 1930s. This swan, #1221, measures 16" using the standard method for measuring swans (front of breast to tip of the tail) and holds 5 quarts. Accompanying the bowl, is a base, a 5 oz. swan punch cup and the Pristine ladle. There was no underplate listed for this set. 1940 saw the set being made in crystal and during the early 1950s, prior to the initial plant closing, the bowl and cup were made in milk glass. During the reopen period, the Swan punch set was once again made but only in crystal and it was still listed in the final 1958 price list. A carmen set has been reported, but no catalog or price list reference has yet been found and dating for this set thus remains undetermined.

To be continued next month...

Punch Bowls
Punch Sets