Service Accessories, Part II

by Mark A. Nye
Issue No. 157 - May 1986

The items shown on the third page of "Unusual Service Accessories" are, for the most part, hardly unusual in their shape, design or intended use. Today, we might call them unusual in the sense these pieces are infrequently seen, but not for any other reason.

The #1534 5" blown nappy is similar to items seen in catalogs from the early 1920s and before, but this piece apparently was not brought out until sometime later. In 1940 it was included in the Round line but had not been a part of this line as it was illustrated in the 1930 Cambridge catalog. When the Round line as a distinct entity was discontinued during the 1940s, the #1534 blown nappy became a part of the Pristine line where it remained until the final plant closing. This piece, from 1940 on, was made only in crystal, but production of the 5" blown nappy in color during the 1930s cannot be ruled out.

Also classified by Cambridge, in 1940, as part of the Round line were the #506 Butter dish and cover, the #980 5" Cheese dish and cover and the #1533 4½" Cover (blown). Like the blown nappy, these three items appear to have had their origins in similar pieces produced not only as part of the 1920s Plain Ware line but in prior years as well. No precise date has been established for the introduction of these pieces as they are shown in the 1940 catalog. The #980 Cheese and cover appears on a catalog page issued in 1929 and the other two items, the #506 and #1533, were probably also brought out in the late 1920s as none of them appear in the 1949 or later Cambridge catalogs.

In addition to being sold as a separate catalog item, the #1533 Cover was also available combined with the Pristine #121 7½"salad plate to make a Cheese plate and cover.

If in fact any of these three pieces were made during the 1930s and it appears at least the #980 was, then production in color is very possible. During the 1940s, however, the #506, #980 and #1533 were listed in the price list as available only in crystal.

These items were very much a part of the Cambridge etched lines in the 1940s as all three were included in the Chantilly, Diane, Portia, Elaine, Rosepoint and Wildflower lines. In addition, the 5" Cheese dish and cover and the #1533 Cover were made with two additional etchings, Blossom Time and Candlelight. The Pristine #121 plate was not included in any of the 1940 etching lists; thus the set itself was listed plain only. However, the etched cover and a plain plate were available as separate items and a set also put together in that manner.

The two French Dressing bottles, #1263 (flat) and #1261 (footed) had entered the Cambridge line by the mid-1920s, if not earlier. A good example of this early production is known in the form of amber #1263 etched Marjorie.

During the 1930s these two accessory items were made in many of the then prevalent colors and decorated with both etchings and cuttings. It should not surprise a Cambridge collector to find either of these bottles etched with any of the 1930s etchings.

Shown with both the Decagon and Round lines in the 1930 catalog, the #1261 and #1263 Dressing bottles are not affiliated with any line in the 1940 catalog. They are shown only under "Unusual Service Accessories" and as part of the etched lines. The flat bottle, or #1263, continued in the Cambridge line until the final closing while the footed Dressing bottle was dropped from the line during the 1940s.

As shown on the accompanying catalog page reprint, the #1261 was only lettered "Oil & Vinegar" while the #1263 also came lettered "Ketchup," "Sauce," "Oil," "Vinegar," and "Chili."

Both bottles were, as previously mentioned, included in the Cambridge etched lines. The 1940 catalog offered the two styles lettered Oil & Vinegar and etched Diane, Portia, Elaine, Rosepoint and Wildflower; while the #1263 was also done with the Blossom Time and Chantilly etchings. Furthermore, as a part of the Elaine line, the #1263 was available with this etching and any of the listed content letterings. Picture, if you will, an "Elaine" etched bottle lettered "Chili."

From at least 1949 on and perhaps before, the #1263 bottle was no longer a part of any etching line. During its final years it was made only with the lettering "Oil & Vinegar" or with no lettering at all. The one known exception is the last Cambridge price list, dated 1958, which offered this bottle with two lettered etchings, "Sauce" and "Ketchup," not used since the 1940s.

The #1570 Cheese Preserver jar apparently was never etched, most likely because its function was utilitarian, to be used in the kitchen rather than on the dining table as a service piece. For the same reason, it is also highly unlikely this piece was ever made in color. The last appearance of the #1570 Cheese Preserver in a Cambridge price list occurred in the Fall of 1956.

Probably none of the items shown on the fourth and final page of "Unusual Service Accessories" date before the mid-to-late 1930s. Two of the items, the #214 Vegetable plate and the #159 9" Corn dish are from the Martha line. Additionally three are from the Pristine line, these being the #130 14" Torte Plate (blown), the #225 2-part Bowl (blown), and the #226 2-piece 9" 4-part Relish with center cup (blown). The remaining three items, the #485 Crescent Salad plate, the #464 3-part Crescent Relish and the #477 Corn dish were, according to the 1940 catalog and price list, classified into the Round line even though they hardly resemble this early line.

Only two of the eight pieces shown on this page, the #130 Torte plate and the #477 Corn dish, saw the dawn of the 1950s with the latter by then a part of the Pristine line. The Torte plate was eventually discontinued, sometime after October 1956, while the Corn dish did appear in the final Cambridge price list.

It is highly unlikely that any of these last eight pieces were made in color. If there is to be an exception to this, it would probably be the Martha #214 Vegetable plate since the Martha Asparagus plate is known in forest green.

Five of the eight items, only the Martha line pieces, #214 and #159, and the Pristine 4-part Relish being omitted, were part of the 1940 etched lines. While it is hard to understand why the Vegetable plate and the Pristine 4-part Relish were never etched, it is readily apparent the lack of clear spaces on the Martha Corn dish made etching it an impractical proposition.

The five pieces that were deemed suitable for etching were very much a part of Cambridge etched ware, being in seven lines, Blossom Time, Chantilly, Diane, Portia, Elaine, Rosepoint, and Wildflower during the late 1930s and on into the early 1940s. By 1949 however, the two items from this group of five pieces still in the Cambridge line, the Torte plate the #477 Corn dish, were available plain only.

In addition to being produced etched and plain, the #485 Crescent Salad plate was made with D/460, Gold Band Edge with hairline.

Thus we come to the end of Cambridge's "Unusual Service Accessories." Is there a collector ready to accept the challenge of assembling a complete set, plain and etched? I think anyone accepting such a challenge would quickly discover just how unusual a number of these items are, especially the etched pieces. Happy Collecting!!

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