Vases, Part III

by Mark A. Nye
Issue No. 179 - March 1988

(NOTE: On a separate page, find five pages of "catalog" illustrations which will be used for this article (and Part IV to follow). The supplemental page will load very slowly on dial-up connections due to the number of Catalog images.)

In June of 1949 the Cambridge Glass Company issued a new catalog and, so far as it is known today, it was the first catalog to be issued by the company since January 1940. The original issue consisted of 148 pages and during the following months and years (beginning in August 1949) supplemental pages were issued, with the last being added sometime in 1953.

Late in 1953 or early in 1954, catalog type material was circulated showing the Milk Glass and Ebon lines. In 1978 the National Cambridge Collectors published a reprint of this catalog, including the pages showing the Milk Glass and Ebon lines. This article is based on information found in this reprint, along with the associated price lists that have become available.

The original 1949 Cambridge catalog contained two pages captioned "Vases," and on these pages were shown eighteen vases, none of which were new that year.TWO PAGES OF CATALOG REPRINTS

Eleven of these vases, #274, #278, #279, #1309, #1237, #1238, #1299, #1239, #6004 8", #6004 6" and #1236 were in the Cambridge line, at the latest, by 1937 and were first discussed in my previous two articles on Vases.

According to the 1949 price list, #274, #278, #279, #1237, #1238 and #6004 (both sizes) were, at that time, available in crystal, amber and amethyst; while #1236 and #1239 were being offered in amber and amethyst only. The remaining two vases in this group, #1309 and #1299, were being produced solely in crystal.

By the time the October 1953 price list was issued, only #274, #278, #1237, #1238 and the two sizes of #6004 remained in production and these were listed as being made in crystal.

In addition to the colors just described, vases #6004 (both sizes), #1237, #1238, #274, #278 and #1309 were, as of June 1949, also being manufactured in crown tuscan; however, in October 1953 no vases were listed as being made in this color.

In August 1949, two new colors, emerald and mandarin gold, were introduced and sometime during the following months production of ebony and carmen resumed. Thus in September 1950 we find the #1237 vase listed as being available in ebony while #6004 (both sizes) and #1238 were being offered in emerald and mandarin gold. At the same time, the 6" version of #6004 was being produced in carmen as was #1237, both with crystal foot and in the case of the #1237, a crystal stem.

The Pristine line was introduced in the late 1930s and six of the vases shown in the 1949 catalog were from this line. Exactly when each was added to the line remains unknown, but was probably before their appearance on a catalog page. The P.580 8" flip vase appears in the January 1940 catalog, the only one of the six to do so. Pristine #575, #565, #572 and #568 are fist shown on a supplemental page to the 1940 catalog that is dated June 1941; while the page showing P.563 for the first time probably dates to August 1942.

June 1949 saw this group of Pristine line vases being made only in crystal. By the fall of 1950, after the introduction of emerald and mandarin gold and the resumption of ebony production, we find the P.575 cornucopia (also listed as part of the Corinth line) being made in all three colors; while the P.572 vase was listed in emerald and mandarin gold.

Pristine vases #563, #565, #568, #572 and #575 continued to be in the Cambridge line when the October 1953 price list was issued. However, by then, production was limited to crystal.

The remaining vase from these two pages is the #1066 Ivy Ball. This #1066 line was introduced in 1931 but exactly when the ivy ball went into production remains to be determined. The first known appearance of the ivy ball on a Cambridge catalog page occurred in June 1941. Eight years later, in June 1949, it was being offered with a crystal, amber or amethyst bowl with crystal stem and foot.

By September 1950, this vase was also being offered in emerald and mandarin gold (bowl, stem and foot in color), as well as with a crystal ball with ebony stem and foot. In addition, the #1066 ivy ball was at this time also being made with a carmen ball and crystal stem and foot.

Cascade vases In addition to the vases just described, three additional ones appeared in the original 1949 catalog and these were from the Cascade line; the #4000/573, the #4000/574 oval (a flared version of the #573), and the #4000/235 5" rose bowl (all three shown at left).

Initially, these three vases were produced only in crystal, but after the introduction of emerald and mandarin gold, the #573 became available in these two colors as well. By the fall of 1953, none of the Cascade vases remained in production.

During the years 1949-53 many of the vases shown on the two 1949 catalog pages captioned "Vases," were available etched and engraved, as well as plain. During these years the etchings Rose Point, Candlelight, Chantilly, Diane, Elaine, Portia, Wildflower, Roselyn, Daffodil and Magnolia appeared on one or more of these vases. Roselyn was available on #274, #278, #1238 and #1237; while Daffodil came only on the 8" #6004 and #278, as did Magnolia.

The #278 11" footed vase was used in conjunction with several engravings, including Achilles, Adonis and Cambridge Rose, as well as others. The reader is referred to the NCC 1949-53 Reprint for additional information regarding other etchings and engravings.

604 Bud vase In addition to etchings and engravings, several vases were also decorated during this period, with gold decorations. The #274 and #1309 vases will be found with D/460 Wedding Band; while #278 comes with D/1063 Talisman Rose and D/Woodlily. The #274 will also be found with D/1063 Talisman Rose and the P.604 bud vase (at left) was decorated with D/Woodlily. D/American Beauty was placed on two vases, the 8" P.604 and #278.

The October 1953 price list contained a listing for D/1066 Columbine, gold encrusted, on six items which included the 8" #6004 vase. The same price list page also had the gold decoration D/Butterfly available on five items, four of which were vases - both the 6" and 8" #6004, #274 and #278, with the fifth item being the P.306 candy box. At this time, I have no other information about these two decorations.

With the reintroduction of ebony and carmen, as well as the introduction of emerald and mandarin gold, the molds for several additional vases were reactivated and the vases put into production. The Pristine #569 vase (at left) was made in all four colors, while the vases known as 589 Vase #306, #307, #309 and #310 came only in mandarin gold and emerald.

The latter four vases (shown at right) had been in and out of the Cambridge line for many years and the basic shapes appear in several of the major lines, while the Pristine #569 was originally in production by June 1941. In addition, the Pristine #604 8" bud vase was put back into production Four vases between June 1949 and September 1950. It, however, was made only in crystal.

With the introduction, in December 1951, of the Cambridge Square line, came seven additional vases, four of which used blown tops from other lines or numbers combined with the Square line foot. The other three, #3797/90/91/92 were unique to the line. All seven were listed on the October 1953 price list. It is doubtful any of the seven Cambridge Square line vases were ever made in colors other than ebon and crystal.

Milk Glass vases The final vases from the years 1949-53 are the two from the heirloom line, #5000/77 fan vase and the #5000/78 footed vase (see photo at left). Both vases first appeared in 1926, in different sizes, when the line was first brought out under the name Centennial. During the 1950s, as part of the Heirloom line, these vases were only produced in crystal.

In January and February 1954, Cambridge brought out their Milk Glass and Ebon (a matte finished black color) lines. No new molds were created for either color. Ebon was used primarily, if not entirely, in molds from the Cambridge Square line, while many older molds were dusted off and used for the Milk Glass line.

Cambridge milk glass was produced only until the factory closed the following summer. During this short production run, vases from the Caprice line #344 (W125) and #337 (W124), and the Everglade vases #20 (W129), #21 (W128), #22 (W127) and #23 (W126) were made in milk glass; as was the Cascade #573 (W133) and the Heirloom #77 (W132) fan vase, and the Shell #46 (W131) holder.

Three vases from the Cambridge Square line #78, #80 and #91 were produced in ebon and these may be found plain or decorated with the gold D/Birds and D/Stars decorations. Production of ebon ceased with the plant closing in the summer of 1954. There is no indication that ebon was made during the reopen years.