Service Accessories, Part I

by Mark A. Nye
Issue No. 156 - April 1986

Editor's Note: Pictures which accompanied this article are located at the end of the article.

The Cambridge catalog dated January 1940 contained four pages captioned "Unusual Service Accessories." Pieces shown on these pages range from several styles of icers to exotic serving dishes and back to a few rather mundane items. Most were not new items and also appear in other sections of the same catalog. Their appearance as a group was no doubt a promotional effort on the part of Cambridge to sell a selection of items in the general catalog that might otherwise have been overlooked.

Under the classification of "Unusual Service Accessories," this group of items was offered only in crystal, undecorated. However, since many date to prior years and were also shown elsewhere in the same 1940 catalog, many will be found in color and decorated, in addition to unadorned crystal blanks.

Two items shown on the first of the four pages date to before 1930; these are the #969 2-pc. Cocktail Icer (pressed) and the #968 2-pc Cocktail Icer. A third, the #3400/41 3-pc Frappe set was probably introduced around 1930. The #968 remained in the Cambridge line until the end of 1958 while the other two had been discontinued by June 1949.

In the 1930 catalog both the #969 and #968 are shown with a Decagon liner. The #968 later appears in the 1932 catalog supplement with a circular rimmed liner and this is the way it appears in later catalogs. There is little doubt that both icers were likely made in most of the 1930s pastel colors and that the #968 was etched with all of the major etchings from those years and perhaps some of the minor ones as well. The etchings will be found on crystal as well as colored blanks.

The #3400/41 3-pc Frappe set was no doubt also made in the pastel shades of the 1930s as well as being made in crystal and sold plain and etched with many of the popular etchings of the day. The Frappe set is seldom encountered today, indicating it did not achieve the popularity the cocktail icers did.

While not listed under "Unusual Service Accessories" as being made in color, the #968 2-pc icer is listed n the 1940 price list with various stemware lines that were being produced in color. In this manner we find the #968 Icer apparently being offered in amber, royal blue, dianthus pink, amethyst, forest green and moonlight, as well as crystal. Production of this icer in these colors at that time, if it in fact did take place, appears to have been rather limited, as few, if any are seen today. There is no doubt about the other two items being made only crystal during the 1940s as for them there are no ambiguous price list entries.

The #969 Icer was available from the 1940 catalog plain only, but such was not the case with the #968, and to a lesser extent for the #3400/41 Frappe set. The latter, in addition to being available plain, was offered etched Diane, Elaine and Portia.

The #968 Icer was a popular piece, produced during the early 1940s with six different etchings - Candlelight, Diane, Elaine, Portia, Rose Point and Wildflower. All except Wildflower were also produced with the etchings gold encrusted. The Wildflower etched icer was made with a gold edge as were ones etched Rose Point and Elaine. In addition to the preceding, the #968 was made with D/1046, Gold Bands.

The #968 Icer continued to be a popular item throughout the 1940s and remained so as the 1950s opened. In the fall of 1950, it was available etched Candlelight, Chantilly, Diane, Elaine, Portia, Rose Point, and Wildflower, as well as with D/460, Gold Band edge with hair line. In addition to the etched versions, the icer was, at that time, being engraved with no less than fifteen rock crystal patterns - Achilles, Adonis, Cordelia, Croesus, Deerfield, Glendale, Juliana, Larchmont, Laurel Wreath, Lexington, Lucia, Manor, Maryland, Roxbury and Tempo.

As the 1950s progressed, the #968 Cocktail Icer, in a way, was a barometer indicating the fortunes of the Cambridge Glass Company, with ever decreasing availability. By the time the final price list was issued in 1958, this icer was listed with only one rock crystal pattern, Tempo and the three remaining major etchings - Rose Point, Chantilly and Wildflower.

The #3600 2-pc Cocktail Icer is basically the Pristine #18 without the Pristine foot and the regular Cambridge foot used in its place. The icer in no way resembles the balance of the #3600 stemware lines, even though it is shown with these lines. The #3600 stemware line dates to 1938 and no doubt the icer was conceived about the same time. This icer was discontinued during the 1940s as it does not appear in the 1949 Cambridge catalog.

At its peak in popularity, the #3600 Icer was a part of the Blossomtime, Chantilly, Rose Point, Portia, Elaine, Diane, and Wildflower etched lines. The #3600 Icer will also be found with gold encrusted Blossom Time and Chantilly as well as both patterns with a Gold Edge.

The Pristine line, including the #18 Cocktail Icer and the #187 Grapefruit Icer, was introduced ca. 1937. While the stemware remained in the Cambridge line until 1956, the icers were discontinued during the 1940s.

Pristine stemware, as a line, is rarely seen etched since very little was made. However, the Pristine #18 Cocktail Icer was listed in 1940 as being made etched Candlelight, Diane, Elaine, Portia, Rose Point, Wildflower, plain and gold encrusted except for the Wildflower icers which came only with a gold edge. Also available with a gold edge with the icers etched Elaine and Rose Point. This same icer was also sold with D/Astoria-gold band edge, D/1046, D/1050-etched Laurel and gold encrusted.

The larger of the two icers, the Pristine Grapefruit or Salad icer, #187, was also offered etched. Blossom Time, Chantilly, Diane, Elaine, Portia, Rose Point and Wildflower etchings were being placed on this blank. D/1054, etched Laurel with a gold edge, will also be found on this icer. Note that the insert for this icer or for any of the others was never etched.

While it is known Pristine stemware was decorated with a number of rock crystal engravings, it has not been determined if the icers were ever so treated.

The remaining item on this page is the #188 2-pc Salad or Fruit Icer. A service piece, the #188 2-pc. set is from the Martha Line and is made up of the Martha #188 11" Salad or Fruit bowl and a bowl from the Pristine line, the #427 10" bowl. (How can this be, an 11" liner fitting into a 10" bowl? The Martha #188 bowl was measured from outside of rim to outside of rim with the actual "bowl" part being somewhat smaller.) Introduced in the late 1930s, the #188 Icers were dropped from the Cambridge catalog during the 1940s.

In its prime, the #188 Icer was available with seven etchings - Portia, Elaine, Diane, Rose Point, Wildflower, Blossom Time and Chantilly. If this items was ever gold decorated, it occurred prior to 1940 as no mention of such ware is found in the 1940 catalog.

All of the items on the second page of "Unusual Service Accessories" are from the Martha line and for the most part were not made in color nor etched. The one known exception to the no color is the Asparagus plate which is known in forest green.

The Deviled Egg plate remained in the Cambridge line thru the final years of the reopen period while the Oyster plate was discontinued at the time the plant reopened in 1955. The other items were all discontinued prior to 1949.

The #156 Oyster plate was made with D/Astoria during the early 1940s. The sauce cup used with this item is the Pristine #69, while the underplate to the 4-pc. Oyster service is the 10½" Round line service plate.

To be continued ...

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