Cambridge Decanters, Part III

by Mark Nye 
Issue No. 144 - April 1985

During the years 1949-54 ten different decanters, at varying times, were in the Cambridge line. They were The Pristine #92, the Pinch #1070, the #1321, #1380, #3400/92, #3400/119, #3797/85 Square line, Mt. Vernon #47 and #52 and the #1379 Colonial.

Mt Vernon decanter Of these ten, only three did not remain in the Cambridge line thru initial closing and into the subsequent reopen period. These three are the Mt. Vernon decanters and the #1379 Colonial decanter. Since decanters available during the reopen period were previously discussed in the first two articles of this current series, only the Mt. Vernon and the #1379 decanters will be covered in this article.

The Mt. Vernon line was introduced in 1931 and a trade journal write-up of the line dating to 1932 was included in Part II of the Cambridge Jug series published in the November 1984 issue of the Cambridge CRYSTAL BALL.

The Mt. Vernon #52 40 oz. decanter with ground stopper was not pictured on the initial catalog pages showing the line issued in 1931, but it did appear on pages published the following year. Until further information becomes available, we can only surmise the M.V. #52 decanter was not included in the original offering of the line.

Quoting from the 1932 trade journal write-up, "It (Mount Vernon) is obtainable in all of the Cambridge finest antique colors, including amber, royal blue, forest green and carmine (together with crystal)." Mt. Vernon catalog pages dating to 1935 and recently reprinted in the Cambridge CRYSTAL BALL, included the following statement, "These prices are for crystal and represent high retail prices. This line is also made in carmen (ruby) see separate price list." Since no other colors are mentioned, the probability is high that by 1935 Mt. Vernon was no longer being made in amber, royal blue and forest green. Exactly how long carmen Mt. Vernon was in production is not known, but it was definitely out of production by January 1940. The items being illustrated by 1935 did include the 40 oz. decanter. You will find the Mt. Vernon #52 decanter in all of the mentioned colors, but not with any great frequency or regularity.

On a catalog page entitled "Liquor Sets" and issued by Cambridge in 1934, there is shown a 10-piece set that included the M.V. #52 decanter, 6 M.V. #57 old-fashioned cocktail tumblers, the M.V. #62 bitter bottle and the 1 #1 muddler, all on a #3500/72 tray.

From 1940 until at least 1950, the M.V. #52 decanter, in crystal only continued in the Cambridge line. The September 1950 price list offered the decanter by itself, or as a 7-piece decanter set with 6 M.V. #22 3 oz. ftd. tumblers, and as a 7-piece wine set utilizing the M.V. #27 3 oz. wine.

The 1953 price list, while listing a few Mt. Vernon items, contained no reference to the M.V. #52 decanter. However, this decanter was incorporated into the Cambridge milk glass line as W71 40 oz. decanter and it sold at retail for $72 a dozen. This may sound inexpensive today, but then $6 for a decanter was, for many people, a sizable sum of money. In addition to being sold by itself, the W71 decanter was combined with W68 (aka M.V. #22 3 oz. ftd. tumbler) to form a 7-piece set. While a limited number of Mt. Vernon pieces were in the Cambridge line during the reopen period, the #52 decanter was not included.

After the Imperial Glass Company purchased the Cambridge molds they used selected ones, including the M.V. #52 decanter, which became known as the Imperial #41187 decanter and stopper. Between 1974 and 1979 production was in crystal and crystal with fired on gold. Prior to this, during the years 1960-74, other colors could have been used to produce this decanter.

Mt Vernon 11 oz decanter The Mount Vernon #47 11 oz. decanter (at right) with ground stopper is somewhat of a mystery.

It did not appear on any known catalog pages and price lists until June 1949 when it was shown in the catalog issued at that time. It was still listed in September 1950 as a single item, or along with 6 of the M.V. #57 1 oz. cordials as a 7-piece cordial set. There is no indication the decanter was made in any color other than crystal during that time period.

The #47 decanter had been dropped from the Mt. Vernon line by the fall of 1953. However, like the M.V. #52, this decanter was incorporated into the milk glass line. While captioned on the catalog page illustrating it as W70 11 oz. decanter, the accompanying price list listed this piece as "W70 11 oz. decanter or cologne." There was also a milk glass 7-piece decanter set using this item and 6 W69 1 oz. footed cordials (aka M.V. #57 1 oz. cordial.)

As with the Mt. Vernon #52 decanter, the #47 11 oz. decanter did not reappear during the reopen period.

The first published reference to the #1379 26 oz. decanter is a supplemental catalog page dating to 1934.

However, it is highly likely this decanter dates to the Near Cut years and is from a Near Cut line. Hopefully additional research in coming months will confirm this supposition. The 1934 appearance of the #1379 decanter was on a catalog page entitled "Decanters." No other information regarding this decanter during the 1930s is available at this time.

1379 Decanter The 1940 catalog and price list added the word Colonial to the description of the #1379 decanter (at left) and from the price list it is learnedMt Vernon set this decanter was being made in crystal only and sold undecorated as the 1940s dawned.

The June 1949 catalog again had the #1379 decanter available only in crystal but now it was being sold plain as well as cut Manhattan and Norwood. By the fall of 1953, it was no longer being offered decorated but did remain available plain. Like the two Mt. Vernon decanters, the #1379 Colonial 26 oz. decanter did not make the transition into the reopen period.

Returning to a decanter covered in Part I, the #1321 28 oz. decanter was being offered in 1940 with decoration D/1048 or Gold Bands as a single item or with the #7966 2 oz. sherry, similarly decorated, as a 7-piece sherry set.

To be continued ...