Cambridge Jugs, Part III

by Mark Nye
Issue No. 139 - November 1984

Note: All jugs discussed in this article are shown in the Catalog page which appears at the end of the article.

The Mount Vernon line was introduced in the fall of 1931 and while our emphasis here is on jugs, I thought CRYSTAL BALL readers might enjoy the following. It is taken from the January 28, 1932 issue of "The Potter, Glass and Brass Salesman."

"One of the patterns in the pressed glass line of the Cambridge Glass Company of Cambridge, Ohio which has recently been received…is known as the "Mount Vernon." Here is an early American design, noteworthy for the faithfulness with which the original is copied and, above all, for the brilliancy of its finish. Inspired by worthy traditions and executed with true craftsmanship, it lends itself naturally to the early American dining room ensemble. It is obtainable in all of the Cambridge finest antique colors, including amber, royal blue, forest green and carmine, together with crystal. It is shown in a complete range of stemware - which, by the way, is characterized by a square foot - and in flatware. The shapes of the stemware are absolutely authentic and include not only the square foot but the ball shaped stem, ornamented in the same criss-cross or diamond design which characterizes the decorative treatment throughout."

Three of the four Mount Vernon jugs appearing in the 1940 catalog also were illustrated in the 1930-34 catalog. Mount Vernon #91 86 oz. jug and Mount Vernon #13 66 oz. jug were both shown in the 1932 Cambridge catalog supplement, the first appearance of the Mount Vernon line. The MV #90 50 oz. jug doesn't appear until the 1934 supplement; however, this by no means is to be construed as evidence that it was not introduced until 1934. The fourth MV jug being sold in 1940 is the MV #95 80 oz. ball jug. While not pictured in the 1930-34 catalog and supplements, this jug may have been in production at that time or perhaps was introduced during the second half of the 1930s. It is known this jug was in production by September of 1939.

As to whether or not all four of the Mount Vernon Jugs were made in all of the colors listed above remains for jug collectors and/or Mount Vernon collectors to tell us. I can tell you that by 1940, only crystal Mount Vernon was being made. While some Mount Vernon items remained in the Cambridge line until the final plant closing, the jugs were dropped from the line prior to 1949.

Cambridge catalog pages dating to early 1936 and showing the Caprice pattern pictured the #183 80 oz. ball shaped jug. The first known reference to the Caprice #178 Doulton jug and the #179 32 oz. ball shaped jug is the August 1936 issue of "China, Glass and Lamps."

The Caprice #178 jug is the second of the two jugs Cambridge, in 1940, was referring to as Doulton jugs, the other being the previously described #3400/152 jug. Note carefully the similarities between the two jugs, in particular, the handles and lips. The Caprice Doulton jug was made in crystal and moonlight, plain or Alpine, during its entire production run, 1936 to at least 1944, which is the last known dated reference to this jug. Actual discontinuance may have taken place anytime between then and 1949. One of the most difficult of all pieces in Caprice to locate today, moonlight jugs predominate over crystal ones in recent years and rarely, if ever is an Alpine Doulton jug seen. There are Doulton style Caprice jugs in other Cambridge colors but unless they have the high handle, they are not the true Doulton jug.

The Caprice #179 32 oz. jug sometimes called a juice or milk pitcher was made in crystal, moonlight and La Rosa, plain or Alpine. This jug was also discontinued sometime between 1940 and 1949. However, unlike the Doulton, it was later reissued by Imperial. However, unlike the Doulton, it was later reissued by Imperial. As is the case of other Caprice by Imperial, unless the production is in colors not used by Cambridge, it is virtually impossible to distinguish between Cambridge and Imperial Caprice.

The Caprice #183 80 oz. ball jug was a hardy item in that it managed to survive until the final plant closing in 1958. Made in crystal during the entire time, the #183 jug was also made in moonlight from 1936 until at least late 1950 and, during the early years and on into the 1940s, in La Rosa. All three colors were made plain or Alpine although few Alpine jugs are seen today.

It is from the Pristine line our next three jugs come. The Pristine pattern originated circa 1936 and the 1958 price list was still listing Pristine, but the jugs had long since been discontinued, this taking place during the 1940s. The January 1940 price list had Pristine available in crystal only, with the exception of two ashtray sets, and it is doubtful if much else of the line was ever made in color.

The Pristine #71 86 oz. jug with cut top was being sold in 1940, just as you see it here, plain, undecorated and of course, in crystal, a "No Frills" jug so to speak. The other two jugs, #75 a 54 oz. jug and #76 a 64 oz. footed jug did come decorated as well as plain. Both ere being made with D/450 or as it is also known D/Astoria, a gold band edge, and D/1050 which is Laurel etched and gold encrusted. The #75 jug was also available with D/1054, etched Laurel with a gold edge.

to be continued ...

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