Cambridge Decanters, Part II

by Mark A. Nye
Issue No. 143 - March 1985

Continuing with decanters available during the reopen period we next look at #1070, the 36 oz. Pinch decanter.

Pinch decanter Even though it is entirely possible that this Pinch decanter was available during the late 1920s, the first known reference for it is found in the 1930 Cambridge catalog. Regardless of the actual introduction date, this decanter was a part of the Cambridge line for at least twenty-eight years.

The initial appearance of the Pinch decanter in the 1930-34 catalog was under the heading "Beverage Sets" and on the opposing page were five #1070 Pinch tumblers. No sizes were provided for the tumblers, but one can assume the smallest is the 2-oz. size that appears with the Pinch decanter from then on. The stopper shown with the decanter is a tall one with the upper section having six sides and a flat top.

Pinch decanters In the 34 page 1931 supplement to the 1930 catalog, the Pinch decanter is shown four times. First it is shown in ebony, etched Apple Blossom and silver encrusted D/970-S. Next it is shown under the heading "Silver Decorated Ware," again with the D/970-S and most likely in amethyst. The third appearance is in a section called "Business Stimulators" and with it is 2-oz. pinch tumbler. For its fourth and final showing in 1931, the #1070 decanter is once again in ebony, this time with D/985-S, "Three Canny Scots."

The 1932 catalog supplement was not lacking for a Pinch decanter as #1070 appeared three times, including once under the heading "Cambridge" Two Tone "Quick Sellers" where it is shown as a colored item with a crystal stopper. One can only surmise what colors were being used. The second appearance in 1932 had it engraved #639 with much of the pattern being placed in the "pinch." The #1070 2-oz. tumbler was also shown engraved #639 and a small part of the decoration was also applied to the decanter stopper.

Closing out its 1932 showing the #1070 decanter appeared as a part of the "Varsity Sport Glassware Line." While shown decorated for Yale University with the "Yale Bulldogs" it was most certainly made with any of the then available college and university decorations.

The #1070 Pinch decanter is shown only once in the 1933 catalog supplement and again once in the 1934 issue. During 1933 it was featured with a #1 Jigger stopper" while in 1934 we have the first appearance of this decanter with a ball stopper and it is this round stopper that was used from then on with this decanter.

While certainly not seen with any regularity, this decanter in any color and etching combination, particularly using the more popular colors and etchings of the 1930s, cannot be ruled out. The same is true of undecorated decanters and probably to some extent also applies to engraved decanters.

1940 saw the Pinch decanter and its 2-oz. tumbler made in crystal, amber, forest green, royal blue and amethyst. However, it was being made plain only, no etchings or decorations were listed as being available on this item. During the 1950s up through the initial plant closing the #1070 decanter and tumbler remained in the Cambridge line in the colors of amber, amethyst and crystal and again, undecorated.

The 1956 price list had this decanter available in moonlight blue, smoke, mandarin gold, pistachio and pink; as well as in crystal, amber and amethyst. It is not clear from these price lists if the 2-oz. tumbler was also made in all of these colors or only in crystal, amber and amethyst. These same price lists also had the #1070 decanter listed in pink crackle!

The sole listing for the #1070 Pinch decanter in the 1958 price list is to be found under the "Colored Glassware" listing where it was stated to be available along with the 2-oz. tumbler in amethyst.

The next decanter we will be looking at is the #1380 26 oz. Square decanter. This decanter has the distinction of having two names. It was, at least in 1940, also known as the Pristine #89 decanter. At that point, this decanter had been incorporated into the Pristine line even though it predates Pristine by several years.

Square 1380 decanter The #1380 Square decanter is first seen on a catalog page dating to 1934, one of two pages in that catalog supplement devoted entirely to decanters. It is shown three ways; etched Scotch; Rye; and Gin. Not shown was the Bourbon decoration. These are not examples of simply etching the name of the beverage onto the decanter; rather, they are much more elaborate etchings.Square 1380 decanters The Scotch decanter was decorated with thistle plants; the Rye with rye; while the Gin decanter featured branches from a juniper bush; and corn was illustrated on the Bourbon decanter. If you were so inclined, this decanter was also produced plain.

Plain or decorated, production was probably limited to crystal although limited production in the 1930s pastel colors cannot be ruled out. From 1940 on, however, it is known this decanter was made only in crystal.

For a time during the late 1930s and early 1940s, the #1380 Square decanter was etched Diane, Portia, Elaine and Rosepoint. Rosepoint was also made gold encrusted.

The original 1940 catalog pictured this decanter with the sloping shoulders. Sometime thereafter, the decanter was redesigned into an almost perfect rectangle shape but retaining the small tall stopper. Then during the late 1940s, the #1380 decanter was dropped from the Cambridge line. It was revived in 1953 and utilized a round or ball shaped stopper (ball in the sense of being round; it is not a stopper from the Ball shaped line) and it was this combination that was utilized during the reopen period. During the second appearance of this decanter, it was once again produced plain or with the Scotch, Rye, Gin and Bourbon etchings.

1541 Decanter 1541 Decanters Closing out the decanters available during the reopen period is the #1541. Available by at least January of 1940 it was listed with a 28-oz. capacity and a "sombrero" shaped stopper. This decanter was discontinued during the late 1940s only to reappear during the reopen period. It was illustrated in the final Cambridge catalog, issued in late 1956. Its stopper had been changed to ball shape and the caption stated that it held only 26 oz. The size cannot be verified as the price lists from the reopen period did not provide capacity for this decanter. During the reopen period it was available in the Bourbon, Rye, Scotch and Gin versions only. During the early 1940s a fifth style engraved Brandy and a sixth style without engraving and listed as the #1540 decanter were available. As far as is known or can be determined, the #1541 decanter was made only in crystal.