by Mark A. Nye
Issue No. 168 - April 1987

"Wildflower is the name given to this beautiful new etching created by the Cambridge Glass Company. In its modern treatment the graceful "Wildflower" offers a theme for the most fastidious and unique table decoration. Wildflower represents a new tretment in etching.Wildflower Etching detail The stems, leaves and flowers with the satin background give a very pleasing and delightful effect. This pattern will be available in open stock for many years affording opportunity for addition and replacement."

The preceding is taken from an undated Cambridge advertising pamphlet most likely issued during 1937, the first year Wildflower was sold. It was introduced to the trade in January 1937 and the following is quoted from the issue of China, Glass and Lamps issued that month.

"Below is shown one of the Cambridge Glass Co."s newest etchings, the "Wild Flower." It is made in a full line of stemware and flatware, as well as vases. The design may also be had in the same range of items in a gold encrustation."

Note the method of spelling the etching name. This was apparently an error by the publisher as it was printed as one word in the advertising pamphlet issued shortly thereafter.

Very few references to Wildflower appeared in trade journals over the years and three that were found were primarily not selling the etching itself but rather were promoting it in conjunction with other Cambridge wares. From 1938, 1940 and 1942 come the following.

"Appropriately etched with all-over flower designs, these four vases from the Cambridge Glass Co. are particularly timely for Spring and Summer displays in the store. The etchings are "Rose Point," "Wildflower," "Portia" and "Elaine" and Wildflower vases the vases are available either plain or with gold bands at the top and foot. Plain etched, they can be retailed for $2.50 each, with the gold bands, for $4.00 each." The vases shown were the #1238 12" footed, the #278 11" footed, the #1242 10" and the #797 8" flip vase.

"Ever a favorite for a number of interesting uses are these charming glass hats, skillfully hand etched by Cambridge. Available in several of the newest highlighted etching patterns ... in small, medium and large sizes. In this case, one of the etchings available on the hats was Wildflower.

"Handsome and useful is this new piece from the Cambridge Glass Company - a triple salad dressing bowl set on a plate and equipped with three ladles. It is the No. 1493 set and it is decorated with the flower etching called the "Wildflower."

As the 1940s dawned, the then current Cambridge catalog and price list contained 220 entries for Wildflower, plain etched. In addition there were extensive listings for the etching gold encrusted and plain etched with a gold edge. Even though Wildflower was an extensive line, except for a brief time during the early 1940s, there was only one stemware line etched Wildflower and it was #3121. The exception is the limited production of the etching on #3725 blanks that most likely took place during 1941, examples of which are seldom seen today.

As was true for many other etchings of the 1930s, the primary blank used for Wildflower at the time of its introduction was the #3400 line. From this line there are complete Wildflower place settings including the 10 ½" service or dinner plate as well as a wide range of serving, accessory and decorative items.

Other blanks used for this etching included the Gadroon or #3500 represented by 17 pieces in the 1940 listing; #1402 or Tally-Ho line with 22 entries under Wildflower, and to a lesser extent, pieces in the Pristine and Martha lines are also to be found with this etching. A majority of the Wildflower/Tally-Ho combinations consist of assorted configurations of two twin salad dressing bowls, #1402/133 and #1402/95. Most notable among the pieces from the Martha line etched Wildflower is the #478 15" Punch Bowl along with its #129 18" underplate and the 5 oz. punch cup.

With the coming of the Corinth or #3900 line, the #3400 line was discontinued and beginning with the 1949 catalog, we find the blank of choice for Wildflower is the Corinth line.

However, there was a marked decrease in the number of items available, with the 1949 price list having some 89 pieces. By the fall of 1953, availability of Wildflower had increased with a price list issued in October offering a choice of 117 items. During this period, enhancement of the pattern with gold was done on a limited basis with only a few items, at one time there were just six, being produced gold encrusted or with a gold edge.

Wildflower continued to be produced during the years 1955-58, the reopen period, but scaled back to some 63 items being offered in both the 1956 and 1958 price lists. Limited production of gold encrusted Wildflower as well as plain etched with a gold edge also continued with eight items available either way.

While primarily etched onto Crystal blanks, Wildflower will also be found to a very limited extent on ebony blanks where it is almost always gold encrusted and on amber and gold krystol, plain etched.

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